Turbine mega heights

Based on work with various clients across the globe, K2 Management believes new technology developments like modular concrete structures mean turbine heights are likely to soar to up to 170m in the coming years – higher than London’s ‘Gherkin’, and almost as high as the Eiffel Tower. This compares to the tallest towers of 150m at present. There has been a 48 per cent increase in average hub height since 1999, and based on its experience in the industry and its partnerships, K2 Management has insight on how to manufacture hybrid tower concepts up to 170m.

According to the company’s wind resource experts, a three MW turbine located in a forest area for example, with an average wind speed of six metres per second, will meet 13 per cent more wind speed if the turbine height doubled from 70 to 140 metres. Annual energy yield prediction would increase by almost 30 per cent because of less surface aerodynamic drag and the viscosity of the air. Therefore, going up to 170 metres from 70 metres will boost energy yield prediction by 35 per cent on average. The more complex the terrain – for instance forests, hills, mountain, buildings – the larger the impact is in using taller turbine towers.

K2 Management CEO Henrik Stamer says: “170m towers could become a common sight in the near future in markets like the USA and Germany as part of a new renewable skyline. We expect to see more of these mega designs as we help our clients get the most out of their wind projects.”