The US is a wind country with the blue band running from the Rockies to the east to the Great Lakes’ south side, then around Arkansas and then to south Texas. The current standard height of wind turbines is 80 meters.
A $1 million study, spread over a period of 18 months, on concrete technology for taller wind turbine towers in the US has concluded now. The study found that when turbines are 140 meters tall, the blue band inflates to the Southeast, travels around the Appalachians and traverses the Northeast areas.
"These slides are starting to create a lot of interest. Taller turbine towers can enable wind energy production in all 50 states, including those in the Southeast" said Sritharan, the study-lead.
The study has found that at higher elevations, winds are usually more consistent and stronger, even in wind-rich states like Texas and Iowa. In fact, a 10% boost in Iowa wind energy production is witnessed by increasing the tower height by 20 meters.
Sritharan has developed a new concrete tower technology called Hexcrete for reaching those heights. In combination with steel tubular technology, hybrid wind turbine towers can also be produced.