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GE's space frame tower enters Europe

UNITED STATES: GE has started shipping its new 'Space Frame' tower, designed to use up to 50% less steel, to Germany.


The five-legged lattice tower uses "architectural fabric" to reduce the amount of steel required, which helps to cut manufacturing costs.

Installation costs will be higher but are offset by the reduced amount spent on steel and transport.

GE's 2.5MW and 2.75MW turbines can be installed on the tower. It is being marketed for low-wind sites in northern Germany and Sweden where higher hub heights are popular.

The announcement was made at the AWEA Windpower 2015 conference taking place this week in Orlando, Florida.

In March 2014, GE installed a prototype 97-metre space-frame tower, in Tehachapi, California. The five-legged closed lattice tower had about 4,500 structural bolts, compared with 450 in a conventional tubular tower.

It is also easier to transport as segments can be shipped in 12.2 metre containers or flatbed trailers. GE bought the technology in 2011 from Utah-based Wind Tower Systems. 

GE unveiled the tower at the EWEA 2014 conference in Barcelona.

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