Towards the sustainability in the design of wind towers
Rights accessOpen Access
Wind farms are both a renewable energy production alternative and a profitable economic enterprise. At the same time these groups of wind towers can be a social-friendly solution if they solve challenging demands from the society such as integration in landscape, aesthetics, low noise nuisances… This paper presents part of a complete research project that was carried out between 2009 and 2015. First this article presents a new wind tower proposal that has been designed to reduce these social impacts as well as satisfying environmental aspects, economic requirements and boundary conditions such as height, turbine power, soil conditions. This proposal is composed of precast concrete modules joined with high-resistance steel bars that define a post-tension structure. These components define an attractive and transparent tripod that is transversally reinforced with steel profiles. This system holds the Spanish patent “Support structure to wind turbines, number ES 2 319 709 B8” and aims to build 100-120m high towers. At this height there is better wind quality and large turbines of 3 MW can be installed. Second, a sustainability assessment of this new hybrid wind tower has been carried out in order to evaluate its social, environmental and economic impacts compared to other solutions. Steel lattice structures, steel tubular systems, in situ concrete towers and precast concrete structures are the alternatives for wind farms that have been considered. MIVES, a MCDM methodology based on the value function concepts has been used to do this assessment, which has relied upon seminars of experts. This sustainability assessment enabled the identification of the aspects with the lowest sustainability index. These are the maintenance and deconstruction costs and for occupational hazards. Now these weak points can be corrected in the process of bringing the patented technology to market.
CitationPons-Valladares, O., de la Fuente, A., Armengou, J., Aguado, A. Towards the sustainability in the design of wind towers. "Energy procedia", 29 Juny 2017, vol. 2017, p. 41-49.