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Towers to reach 170 metres, report predicts

WORLDWIDE: The height of turbine towers could reach 170 metres within years, according to a report by advisory firm K2 Management.

K2 management believes 170-metre towers will become a "common sight"
K2 management believes 170-metre towers will become a "common sight"

The advancement of modular concrete and hybrid technologies means tower heights reach 170 metres, resulting in greater yields, K2 believes.

A 3MW turbine at 140 metres in a forested area with average speeds of 6m/s could produce 30% more energy than a turbine at 70 metres. A further increase to 170-metres would produced even more energy, K2 said.

"170-metre towers could become a common sight in the near future in markets like the USA and Germany as part of a new renewable skyline. We expect to see more of these mega designs as we help our clients get the most out of their wind projects," said K2 Management CEO Henrik Stamer.

Since 1999, hub heights have increased 48%, the firm added.

Turbine manufacturer Vestas developed its modular large-diameter steel tower (LDST), which has a 3MW prototype operating at a 140-metre hub height.

With the unveiling of its V136 turbine, Vestas announced it would offer the 3.45MW turbine at 132-metres and 149-metres with the LDST.

US manufactuer GE also offers its Space Frame tower with its 2.5MW and 2.75MW turbines with hub heights of 139-metres.

And Indian OEM Suzlon is currently trialling a 120-metre tubular and lattice style hybrid tower for its S111 2.1MW turbine.

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