Wind turbines are used to generate clean energy. Taller, stronger wind turbines are more efficient than their shorter, weaker counterparts. Taller towers allow the capture of faster, more sustainable wind energy. They also support longer turbine blades, which can increase energy production by 15%. At the same time, the taller you build steel, the weaker it gets. How can we solve this growing problem?
Engineers at Iowa State University are looking into use concrete instead of steel to build wind turbines. As turbine size increases, the need for taller towers will be inevitable—why not try building them out of concrete? “We have definitely reached the limits of steel towers,” Sri Stratharan, Iowa State’s Wilson Engineering Professor said. “The wind energy industry is starting to say, ‘Why don’t we go to concrete?'” Why, indeed?
At Del Zotto Products of Florida, we fully understand and appreciate concrete. We know that demand for energy will continue to increase along with population. With that in mind, it’s no wonder engineers are looking into using concrete to aid in energy capture.
Here are the advantages to building wind turbines with concrete.
- Increased tower life. The average steel turbine tower lasts for 20 years. Using concrete could slow deterioration and boost longevity.
- Easier transportation. Precast concrete pieces are smaller than steel pieces and can be shipped with standard trucking.
- Ongoing support. The precast concrete industry is a nationwide affair, and it is growing each and every year.
- Domestic loyalty. By using concrete to build wind turbines, we will decrease our reliance on imported steel and bolster the national economy.
- Ease of installation. Unlike steel, precast pieces are small and can be easily installed and rearranged on site.
- Versatility. Precast concrete towers can be tailored for any turbine size, even heights beyond the ideal 100 meters.
It’s clear that humankind needs to come up with clean energy solutions. Wind turbines are one of our best tools for gathering renewable energy. As engineers look for ways to make turbines more efficient, they’re switching out steel for precast concrete. We can’t wait to see how this affects the future of our planet.
Our team at Del Zotto Products wants to help you with your precast, dry-cast and ready mix concrete needs. For more information, please contact us or reach out via social media.