LafargeHolcim, GE Renewable Energy turn 3D-printed turbine pedestals

The latest target in a LafargeHolcim Ltd. investigation of 3D-printed concrete elements or structures is a pedestal for a new class of turbines, 150-200 meters high, that have the potential to harness one-third or more energy than the shorter towers dotting wind farms the world over. After participating in a 10-meter scale model printing late last year, the Swiss concrete, cement and aggregates giant has entered a partnership with GE Renewable Energy and Copenhagen-based COBOD International A/S to develop supertall wind turbines with optimized, 3D-printed bases. GE Renewable Energy will provide expertise related to turbine design, manufacture and commercialization; COBOD, short for Constructing Buildings on Demand, will focus on robotics automation and 3D printing assemblies; and, LafargeHolcim will refine the concrete material or ink, along with its processing and application methods.

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Energy Department laboratory hosts 3D-printed turbine foundation tests


A $250,000 infusion from the Colorado Office of Economic Development and International Trade’s Advanced Industries Accelerator Grant Program will position Boulder-based concrete construction specialist RCAM Technologies and technology integrator Accucode Inc. to develop wind energy components using 3D printing methods. The grant supports RCAM work on a concrete wind turbine foundation with the potential to reduce offshore deployment costs by up to $4 million per structure and $400 million per plant. The firm will use the funding to expand its 3D concrete printing capabilities at two Colorado partner locations: the U.S. Department of Energy’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) in Golden, and Accucode’s new Colorado Springs facility.

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