Παρασκευή, 16 Νοεμβρίου 2012

The TimberTower world's first wooden wind turbine





For a long time, wood was the prevalent material in the construction of wind energy plants. Only in the first half of the 20th century did steel begin to replace wood. Nowadays, wood hardly figures in the production of wind energy plants. The launch of the TimberTower will change all this.

The TimberTower is manufactured as a linked system out of glued laminated timber panels and surface components, which are assembled on-site into a closed, hollow body with a hexagonal, octagonal or dodecagonal cross section (base: 7.0 x 7.0m / top: 2.90 x 2.90m). The necessary wooden and surface elements are manufactured by leading, international partners from Germany and Austria. The PEFC certificate held by our wood suppliers guarantees that the raw material used originates from ecologically, economically and socially responsible forest management.
At a glance

Tower
Hub height up to 200m can be achieved economically
Transport in 40ft containers
Fasteners are integrated in the tower's individual components
Integrated ladder and lift system
Round, steel adapter for connection to nacelle
Segments assembled on-site

Base
Round base
Mass and diameter of base identical to tubular steel tower
Base mounting part omitted

As early as the development phase we placed great importance on the TimberTower meeting all current requirements regarding insurability, certification and fire protection regulations. We guarantee a minimum life cycle of 20 years.

Advantages of the TimberTower

Economically groundbreaking:



The price of steel is constantly reaching new heights, while the current trend is towards larger and higher wind turbines with the aim of increasing revenue. However, turbines with conventional steel towers and a hub height of over 85 meters are not economically presentable for companies constructing the turbines. In the onshore and offshore field, there is a need for alternatives to the most commonly used tubular steel towers. No previous concept, whether concrete towers, steel girder masts or hybrid towers made from concrete and steel have been able to convince in the long term. The tubular steel towers currently used in the offshore area also require an immense amount of maintenance work in order to protect against corrosion caused by the enormous amount of salt in the air.

Wood represents an attractive alternative for wind power. Dynamic loads, protection against corrosion, and price of material: Wood offers key advantages. The TimberTower represents the ecologically groundbreaking alternative to established tower concepts, as the increased size of the tower base makes greater hub heights economically viable. More electricity is produced from renewable energy sources - an important step for climate protection. The turbines are increasingly efficient, the returns are higher.

A logistical revolution:
Up until now, special abnormal loads have been required to transport wind energy towers. However, these limit the diameter of conventional towers, as the tower base is restricted to a diameter of 4.20m to enable it to pass under bridges. In order to increase efficiency, however, higher towers with larger tower base diameters are required - a seemingly unsolvable transport problem.

Many regions in the world offer good to excellent wind conditions, but are not accessible with abnormal loads. In Germany it is relatively easy to transport a tower from Hamburg to Munich. A similar transport, for example in North America, would cost roughly ten times as much.

Wood, on the other hand, is a cost-efficient material, which is also logistically easy to transport. The TimberTower components are transported to the site in 40ft containers. Unlike with tubular steel tower segments, there is no need for the abnormal loads that are such an economical and ecological strain. A logistical revolution.

Natural energy generation:


At present, more steel is being used in the wind energy industry than in shipbuilding. The 20% forecast annual growth in the wind energy industry will further increase steel consumption. Using timber to construct towers for wind energy plants can noticeably reduce steel consumption.

Using our timber tower for a 100m high tower can save approximately 300 tons of sheet steel, the production of which requires enormous amounts of energy and releases harmful CO2. And there is more: our TimberTower ties up approx. 400 tons of CO2, thus protecting our environment and the planet's resources.

In a special way, forests and timber are closely linked with mankind's technical and cultural development. The important forest ecosystem is an essential foundation, providing a habitat for animals and plants. Furthermore, the forest offers the sustainable raw material, construction material and energy source that is wood.

Germany possesses an area of 11.1 million hectares of forest. This is around 30% of the total economic area. The stock of wood in our forests amounts to approx. 3.4 billion m³. Nowadays, every second a quantity of wood with the volume of a die with 1.56m long sides is being cultivated in our forests. The wood in the forest's trees tie up 5.5 billion tons of CO2, which is the equivalent of the emissions from about 440 million return flights from Germany to Australia.

In Germany alone, an average of over twelve m³ of wood per hectare of forest land grows every year. According to the National Forest Inventory, this figure is greater than 95 million m³ per year in the former East German states. This means that over 120 million cubic meters of wood is grown every year in Germany. The potential timber that could be used is lower than this figure, as not all the wood is usable. Reasons for this include the growth of younger trees, protected status, or the inaccessibility of some forest areas.

The potential raw timber in Germany lies at an average 78 million cubic meters per year for the next 40 years. Experts have even forecast an increase to over 81 million cubic meters. Howe-ver, this sustainable supply raw timber is not being exhausted: at present, around 55 million cubic meters of wood per year are being felled in Germany. Taking into account residual wood and firewood, as well as by-products, this amounts to an estimated annual collection of about 64 million cubic meters of wood from the forest. This shows that considerably more wood could be used without damaging the basis for the sustainability of the forests.

Today, wind energy is already one of the cleanest forms of energy generation. The TimberTo-wer completes the final step to a consistently ecological product. The TimberTower fulfils the sustainability aspect: it is 99% a purely natural product, CO2-neutral, and once it has been used it can be recycled without any problem. This way, the TimberTower is contributes strongly to the reduction of greenhouse gases.


The material

glued laminated timber panels



Wood is the only renewable building material. It is in accord with nature. Increasing awareness of health and environmental issues, as well as the growing trend towards sustainability, are leading to a renaissance for the building material, which, together with natural stone, was the most-used material until the start of the 19th century. The classic solid structure consumes energy and produces CO2 as early as the construction phase. Wood, on the other hand, absorbs large quantities of CO2 from the atmosphere - an important argument for constructive timber work.

The glued laminated timber used is made of spruce panels, which are stacked crosswise and glued together. Thanks to the crosswise layering of the longitudinal and transversal lamellae, the swelling and shrinking in the panel plane are reduced to an insignificant minimum – the static ability to withstand stress and the form stability are thus significantly increased. This opens a wealth of completely new possibilities regarding load transfer. Loads are not only transferred in one direction, as is the case with supports or beams, but rather they are transferred to all sides ("real in-plane action").

Only technically dehydrated timber with a wood moisture of 12% (+/- 2%) is used to produce the glued laminated timber. This eliminates damage caused by vermin, mould or insects. The solid panels are produced in a manner that saves energy and is environmentally friendly, corresponding to the emission class 0.. They can be disposed of using thermal waste disposal, and when burned produce no more residue than wood without glue.




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