Wind energy company Vestas has launched their new Large Diameter Steel Tower, which increases the tower height of 2 MW turbines to over 140 metres, which should boost annual energy production on low wind sites by up to 8%.
The Large Diameter Steel Tower (LDST) works from the simple principle that wind is stronger higher.
As Vestas explain, “on a typical site with a mean wind speed of 6.5m/s, the LDST will increase annual energy production by up to eight per cent at a hub height of 137 meter for the V126-3.3 MW compared to a hub height of 117 meter for the conventional steel tower.”
Given the increased height there is a complimentary increase in wind force exerted on the base of the tower. This usually is fixed by using thicker steel plates, but the LDST has instead increased the diameter of the bottom section which has strengthened the tower without using much more steel — reducing production costs and keeping the cost of energy low.
“Vestas’ product development strategy is to continue to optimise our technology in order to lower the cost of energy for our customers,” explains Chief Technology Officer Anders Vedel. “The LDST is the most cost efficient solution in the industry to meet the demand for increased tower height for the 3 MW turbines.”
Innovations and developments such as these is why the wind industry is such a powerful force for the future of renewable energy. Available on- and off-shore, wind energy can make use of a wider array of environmental conditions to power developed and developing countries electricity grids. With the development of the LDST, wind power can now start producing more energy even at locations typically deemed costly, by reaching higher and stronger winds.
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