This company press release says this next generation technology from Wind Tower Systems, LLC (WTS) is necessary as wind turbine blades have been getting longer:
WTS has been working on the development of the space frame tower system technology for use at wind farm sites that require hub heights of 100 meters or more. The space frame tower technology is a highly engineered and optimized structure that will handle the unique static and dynamic loads generated by wind turbines.
WTS also has been developing innovative ways to transport and install these taller wind turbine towers. The space frame technology will use standard flatbed trucks. Hi Jack system technology can eliminate the need for heavy lift cranes during installation. These new technologies offer the ability to cost effectively extend the tower height, which in turn enables the turbine to produce more energy.
“We see great potential in the addition of this technology to our portfolio not only for our customers but also for the wind industry as a whole,” said Victor Abate, vice president-renewable energy for GE Power & Water. “Taller towers are an essential complement to longer blades. Longer blades capture more energy and in turn improve return on investment for wind farm developers.”
GE officials say the taller towers will help lower wind energy costs. The company will be testing the new tower later this year with plans to make it commercially available by next year.