GE, COBOD & LafargeHolcim Partner to 3D Print Concrete Wind Turbine Bases

GE Renewable Energy, COBOD (Construction of Buildings on Demand) and LafargeHolcim have announced that they will partner to co-develop wind turbines with optimized 3D printed concrete bases, reaching record heights up to 200 meters (655 feet). The partners will undertake a multi-year collaboration to develop this innovative solution, which will increase renewable energy production while lowering the Levelized Cost of Energy (LCOE) and optimizing construction costs. The plan is to ultimately produce a wind turbine prototype with a printed pedestal, a production ready printer and a materials range to scale up production. This technology could potentially reduce the amount of time and labour needed to install turbines, especially onshore, where turbines tend to be smaller than their offshore counterparts (it is easier to transport materials by sea). GE believes it can build a 160-meter tall, 5MW turbine that generates 33% more power than a turbine half the size all at a “significant” cost saving. Since it iss usually easier to transport a 3D-printer than a 100 to 200 meters tower, it will be able to bring renewable wind energy to new markets.