Picture source: The Verge

GE Renewable Energy, COBOD and LafargeHolcim have partnered to co-develop wind turbines of up to 200 meters high using 3D printed concrete bases. The three partners will sign a multi-year collaboration to develop this innovative solution, which will increase renewable energy production while lower the levelized cost of energy. It is also expected to optimize construction costs and reduce logistic constraints.

As part of the partnership, GE Renewable Energy will provide expertise related to the design, manufacture and commercialization of wind turbines. COBOD will focus on the robotics automation and 3D printing. LafargeHolcim will design the tailor-made concrete material and will be involved in its processing and application.

The first prototype using the same technology had a 10-meter high tower pedestal and was successfully printed in October 2019 in Copenhagen, Denmark.

In a bid to economically develop taller towers that capture stronger winds, the three partners aim to generate more renewable energy per turbine. Traditionally, wind turbine towers that are built using steel or precast concrete have on an average a height of under 100 meters. This is because it is hard to increase the width of the tower base due to transportation constraints. The printing of a larger base on-site with 3D-printed concrete technology will enable the construction of taller towers.