A Swedish start-up looks set to reduce the cost of a wind turbine by 30% – by using a wood-based “natural carbon fibre” to replace concrete in the masts of giant wind turbines.
Gothenberg-based Modvion, which is backed by the country’s Energy Agency, is using glulam, a plywood product that can outperform the strength of steel, as a wooden tower for wind turbines. The new towers are modular and can be taken apart and transported, before being assembled onsite.
The towers account for 12% of the cost for an onshore wind turbine and 7% for offshore systems. Modvion is aiming to tailor its product for bigger turbines as well. A 30m tower should be finalised by spring 2019 and a 150m tower is also being targeted.
Modvion´s patented module technology enables significantly decreased cost, efficient transportation and streamlined installation of towers exceeding 120 m. Ultimately, this results in increased cost efficiency in the harvesting of wind resources.
Today, conventional wind power towers can’t get higher than about 100 m in a cost efficient way. Tall towers built the old fashioned way are too heavy and expensive, and almost impossible to transport: a base diameter of 4.3 m exceeds the limit of transport. Meanwhile, wind power plant owners would get considerably more energy for their investments if they could access those higher altitudes.
Modvion offers a new modular wind power tower that reaches higher altitudes, simplifies transportation and is built with the cheap renewable composite material CLT. This simultaneously makes the tower an effective CO2-storage. We are the IKEA of wind power with a cradle-to-cradle product.
Modvion believes modular towers are the solution. With lower material costs, cost-efficient logistics and a lower CO2 footprint, the solution is climate friendly and cost efficient.