Grant and Research Library

Hexcrete Tower for Harvesting Wind Energy at Taller Hub Heights

MG-14-011

Program Area:

Grant

Focus:

Renewable Energy

  • Wind

Summary

In order to address the need for taller wind turbine towers, DOE (Department of Energy) released an FOA (Funding Opportunity Announcement) on Taller Hub Heights to Access Higher Wind Resources and Lower Cost of Energy. The principal investigator (PI) submitted a successful concept paper to the DOE to facilitate the completion of the final phase of the Hexcrete tower concept developed at Iowa State University. This new concept was developed using the PI’s professorship’s funds and the Iowa Grow Value Fund— and 1) uses modular components that can be prefabricated locally and transported using standard trucks; 2) increases design life to 40-50 years instead of the current 20-25 years; 3) uses readily available materials to minimize weight and transportation costs; and 4) facilitates foundation options that can be easily decommissioned. By overcoming the challenges associated with steel tubular wind turbine towers, the Hexcrete concept is designed to dominate tower height in the 100 to 140m range.

Hexcrete towers with increased heights will 1) access high wind speeds and steadier wind conditions; 2) increase wind production time; 3) leverage opportunities to harvest energy in regions where favorable wind conditions exists above 100 m; and 4) lower wind energy cost. The impact of successfully completing the Hexcrete tower will strengthen wind energy production in Iowa, reduce wind energy cost, and increase Iowa job markets in wind energy, precast fabrication and commercial transportation.

Award Amount:

$83,510

Grant Active Dates:

Oct. 2014 — Jul. 2015

Organization:

Civil, Construction, and Environmental Engineering, Iowa State University

Principal Investigator:

Sri Sritharan

Co-Principal Investigator:

Ming-Chen Hsu

Status:

Active

Location:

Ames, Iowa