Precast-concrete wind-turbine towers

Nearly twenty years ago now, some turbine manufacturers started asking us how we could make wind-turbine towers “grow”. At that time, nearly all wind turbines consisted of highly optimised tubular steel structures up to 80 m tall, with a diameter that would enable them to be transported by road. Turbines had a power rating of 1–2 MW, but the need to reduce energy costs and continuously improve competitiveness forced the industry to grow in terms of both power and height. And this growth seemed to be limited by the existing technology.

At Esteyco, with our experience of infrastructure and civil works, we realised that all major works involving very high parts — chimneys, bridge piers, etc. — tend to be made of concrete. So why is this not the case in the wind-energy world too?

We therefore came up with a solution that combines the advantages of concrete with serial manufacture and industrialisation, with a prefabricated concrete tower, built in easily transportable segments, pre-assembled in rings at a height of about 20 metres in the final position, before finally erecting the tower. With this solution we were able to match the performance of the steel alternative and install 2–3 towers per week, with all the advantages of concrete and precasting.

Today more than 3,000 towers have been installed all over the world using our design and patent, confirming the advantages of our technology.

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