Nordex trials 134-metre steel-only tower

GERMANY: Since February, Nordex has been testing a 134-metre tubular steel tower, with a 3.6MW turbine installed on it, in a bid to create an alternative to hybrid structures.

Nordex installed the 134-metre tubular steel tower in February
Nordex installed the 134-metre tubular steel tower in February

The turbine was been installed at the Grevenbroich test field in North-Rhine Westphalia, western Germany, operated by Windtest Grevenbroich for project developer GP Joule.

It is the first time Nordex has installed a turbine on a tubular-steel tower over 120 metres. Usually, the German firm installs any turbines over that height on hybrid steel and concrete towers.

Nordex said traditionally, towers exceedind 120 metres require a base diameter of more than 4.3 metres, which exceeds travel restrictions in Germany. The hybrid tower is a solution to this.

The new tubular steel tower has a diameter of exactly 4.3-metres, Nordex said, meaning it could be transported.

"The results of the latest tests conducted already confirm that the tubular steel tower is perfectly suitable, also given the 20-year service life of the turbine," Nordex said.

The tower will be commercially available from 2018 for Nordex's N131 3.6MW and N131 3.9MW low-wind turbines.

"A further factor is that the new tower option once again reduces the cost of energy for the Nordex turbine fleet," the company said.

The new tower is still dwarfed by the 164-metre hybrid installed by Nordex in June 2016.

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