USD 15 billion wind energy giant GE Renewable Energy, COBOD and LafargeHolcim have entered into a partnership to co-develop wind turbines having record heights up to 200 meters with optimized 3D printed concrete bases.
The COBOD International is a leading 3D construction printing company, supplying this technology to its customers in Asia, the Middle East, Europe and the United States. While, LafargeHolcim is a leading building materials and solutions supplier and active in 4 business segments i.e. cement, aggregates, ready-mix concrete and solutions & products.
As per the deal, all three partner companies will undertake a multi-year collaboration to jointly develop this innovative solution. It will not only help in rising renewable energy production but also lowering the Levelized Cost of Energy (LCOE) and optimizing construction costs.
With an aim to generate more renewable energy per turbine, these companies will explore ways to economically develop taller towers that capture stronger winds.
Under this partnership, a new wind turbine prototype will be developed with a printed pedestal, and a production-ready printer and materials range to scale up production.
Notably, in October last year, its first prototype having a 10-meter high tower pedestal was already printed successfully in Copenhagen.
Commenting on the partnership, Edelio Bermejo, Head of R&D for LafargeHolcim, explained “concrete 3D printing is a very promising technology for us, as its incredible design flexibility expands the realm of construction possibilities. Being both a user and promoter of clean energy, we are delighted to be putting our material and design expertise to work in this groundbreaking project, enabling cost-efficient construction of tall wind turbine towers and accelerating access to renewable energy.”
As per the partnership terms, GE Renewable Energy will provide expertise related to design, manufacture and commercialization of wind turbines, while COBOD will focus on the robotics automation and 3D printing. On the other hand, LafargeHolcim will design tailor-made concrete material, its processing and application.
“We are extremely proud to be working with world-class companies like GE Renewable Energy and LafargeHolcim. With our groundbreaking 3D printing technology combined with the competence and resources of our partners, we are convinced that this disruptive move within the wind turbines industry will help drive lower costs and faster execution times, to benefit customers and lower the CO2 footprint from the production of energy,” commented Henrik Lund-Nielsen, founder of COBOD International.
Speaking on the development, Matteo Bellucci, Advanced Manufacturing Technology Leader for GE Renewable Energy, said that “3D printing is in GE’s DNA and we believe that Large Format Additive Manufacturing will bring disruptive potential to the wind industry. Concrete printing has advanced significantly over the last five years and we believe is getting closer to have real application in the industrial world.”
In May this year, GE Renewable Energy won 102.6 MW of wind turbine project in Gujarat from Naresh Oberoi-led Powerica Ltd. As per the deal, GE will supply 38 of its 2.7-132 onshore wind turbines, designed for low wind speed conditions, to be installed at the Rajkot and Khambaliya wind farms in the state of Gujarat.