New Tower Reaches High to Catch the Wind

Officially grid-connected and set to work this week in Germany is a new wind tower from ATS. The novel tower construction allows very high hub heights that may increase a turbine’s yield by 20% or more.

“This is a great day for wind energy.” said Frans Brughuis, Managing Director of the tower construction specialist Advanced Tower Systems (ATS). “Now the pilot project can demonstrate the high cost-effectiveness and efficiency of the ATS concept,”

The system, one of the largest wind energy systems with hybrid tower in the world, is installed at Germany’s Windtest test field at Grevenbroich, near Cologne.

The lower section of the innovative tower consists of narrow concrete pre-fabricated parts (76.5 meters concrete from ATS), and the upper section of conventional steel components 55 meters steel (Siemens). Atop the tower is a Siemens SWP 2.3 megawatt nacelle with a 93 meter diameter rotor

With its hub height of 133 meters (436 feet), the system has an overall height of 180 meters (590 feet).

The tower was constructed and operated by ATS Projekt Grevenbroich GmbH, in which juwi Netzwerk GmbH & Co. KG, Mecal Projects GmbH, Hurks subsidiary HB Bau GmbH and Siemens Project Ventures (SPV) have equal shares.

ATS reports that the response within the industry has been correspondingly positive. “At international wind trade fairs such as the EWEC in Marseille and the Windpower in Chicago the ATS concept has already aroused great interest from project developers and turbine manufacturers as well as investors,” added ATS Sales Manager Johannes Bietz.

More than 20 ATS systems are being planned by the end of 2010.

Compared to the widely used hub height of 100 meters (328 feet), the ATS system achieves energy claims an additional yield of some 20 percent more. This is particularly important for inland locations with lower wind speeds. The higher outlay for the tower construction should be recouped in approximately four years, says the company, and  the maintenance costs are very low.

REW Wind Technology Correspondent will be looking at this innovation and the issue of tall tower in more detail in Renewable Energy World magazine.

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