The experts at Sweden’s Modvion are using the strength of wood to help capture the power of wind — and setting records in the process.
The company’s unique, wood-based wind turbine was ordered by Sweden-based energy company Varberg Energi, and will be the world’s tallest wooden turbine when completed. It will stand at 344 feet including the blades, per an Electrek report on the news. Still under construction, the record-breaker is set for completion by the end of this year in Skara, Sweden.
The company is also touting other benefits of the wood design, in addition to height.
Modvion experts said on the company website that the laminated wood used to build the structure is stronger and lighter than steel, when part of the turbine structure.
Photos on the company’s website show cranes stacking wooden cylinders that make the tower. The cylinders are divided into several semicircular parts, which are combined on-site. Since the turbine tower parts are hollow, the walls can be made thicker, increasing the strength.
The Modvion team said that height matters when it comes to catching wind. As part of a point-by-point benefit guide, they claim the wood towers more efficiently reach the sky than other types, reducing cost. The reason, in part, is due to the fact that they don’t need as much reinforcement to support their own weight. The lighter materials also make for easier transport.
“Wood enables building higher towers at a lower cost, which makes wind power more efficient since winds are stronger and more stable higher up,” Lundman told Electrek.
The team said wooden towers will contribute 90% less dirty air during their lifespan than their metal counterparts. When decommissioned, the intent is for the turbines to be reused in other construction projects, according to Modvion’s website.
The company already has a proven prototype in Björkö, an island in Sweden. It was built in 2020. Two other projects are in the works, including Varberg’s.
“Modvion’s tower enables the construction of cost-effective, tall wind turbines — a key to a carbon-neutral energy system,” Varberg CEO Björn Sjöström said.
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