Wind power has not only expanded enormously in recent years. It has also evolved on a technical level. The structures are taller and the blades are bigger. All this makes the generation capacity greater. But there is another way in the evolution of these giants of the wind. In Sweden, they have started to test it. These are the wooden wind turbines.
Known for its engineering solutions for wind power, Modvion has installed the first of the upcoming wooden wind turbines. These are infrastructures similar to those that can be seen in the fields today, but their construction has been made of wood. In this way, they are more sustainable and also cheaper.
Modvion’s wind turbine is a prototype and is located on an island relatively close to the city of Gothenburg. It is 30 meters high and is built entirely of wood. Among the advantages this has is the reduction of emissions at the time of manufacture. The steel production process is considerably more polluting. As for these new structures, they can be manufactured with zero emissions from the beginning.
Another of the facilities of wood compared to steel is transportation. Typically, steel structures are made in huge pieces. This means that getting them from the factory to the installation site requires a complicated journey on the road. And it is that these gigantic pieces often do not meet the road transport criteria, due to their weight or size. However, wooden wind turbines can be produced modularly. So each segment can be much smaller.
More ecological structures compared to traditional ones
The first of the wooden wind turbines were installed in Germany eight years ago. It was a small project, but the tower reached 100 meters high and was capable of generating 1.5 MW. The diameter was 77 meters and the weight of the structure was 91 tons.
The numbers have nothing to do with the records of traditional wind turbines. It was precisely in Germany that the tallest tower was installed, almost 250 meters high. The project cost 70 million euros and year after year it will report 6.5 million. Even the more modern wooden towers to be installed in Sweden do not reach similar figures. Modvion plans to install the first commercial versions in 2022. There will be one 110 meters high and another ten 150 meters high.
These structures may eventually become substantial support for the joint European effort. The old continent has the capacity to be self-sufficient only with wind energy and wood is a more sustainable material to fill the fields of mills.