GE's new space frame tower for multi-megawatt wind turbines

GE has announced the introduction of a new "space frame tower" for multi-megawatt wind turbines at the European Wind Energy Association’s annual conference in Barcelona, Spain. The five-legged enclosed lattice tower enables towers up to 139 m high to be built more cost-effectively in "never before accessible locations, using a logistics-friendly model of standard shipping methods and on-site assembly", the company says.

Cliff Harris, general manager of GE’s renewable energy business in Europe sees the development as "a stepping stone towards towers taller than 150 metres in Europe."

The space frame tower is being introduced with GE’s new 2.75-120 wind turbine and was demonstrated in a full-scale turbine at GE’s prototype site in Tehachapi, CA. The lattice tower is assembled at wind farm locations and then wrapped in an architectural fabric to provide what GE describes as "familiar solid structural aesthetics."

The space frame tower has a relatively wide base that provides more room at the base of the tower than a traditional tubular tower. This additional down-tower space allows storage within the turbine, contributing improved maintenance, site organisation and balance of plant.

Photo: GE’s new space frame tower for multi-megawatt wind turbines (Credit: GE)