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New building methodology for improved full-concrete wind towers for wind turbines.

Periodic Reporting for period 1 - AIRCRANE (New building methodology for improved full-concrete wind towers for wind turbines.)

Reporting period: 2015-05-01 to 2015-10-31

The main objective of the project is to complete, qualify, standard setting and demonstrate in real working conditions a self-climbing telescopic crane (AIRCRANE) for the construction of Full-Concrete towers for wind turbines, at very low cost compared to current market solutions.
This new crane will have the capacity to climb through the interior of the tower, gaining altitude while it does the tower construction. This construction concept is identical that the one used in skyscrapers.
The main characteristics of the new AIRCRANE will be:
- AIRCRANE costs are 90% lower than conventional cranes. Taking into account that the tower implies approximately the 25% of the total invest in the wind turbine, these savings will be very important.
- AIRCRANE has a much more energy efficient transport & logistics infrastructure due to the fact that less containers are needed and it’s easier to move and assembly (see table in section 1.4)
- AIRCRANE maximum operative height theoretically will be infinite, as it gains altitude in the same manner the tower does when it’s being built.

The final result of the project is perfectly aligned with the main objective of the wind sector for the next 10 years: reduce drastically costs of onshore wind turbines to reach 1 Million € per 1 MW installed. The advantages proposed in this project will definitely help
The work done during the 6 months of the project has thoroughly been following the work plan signed in the Grant Agreement.

Objective: Analysis of the innovative value proposition that enables the wind concrete towers sales with enough profit margins to allow the return on investment and ensure the future sustainability.

Tasks: Four different tasks have been implemented during the project execution:
- Task 1: Market
- Task 2: Value proposition, business model and commercialization
- Task 3: Cost, revenues and funding scheme
- Task 4: Feasibility study
Timetable: The work done has been executed from May 1st 2015 until October 31st 2015

Results: The main remarkable results that have been achieved are related to the study of the market and to the business model. The feasibility study done during this six months has help us to better understand the wind market and positioning in the value chain for the construction of full concrete towers. As well, new customer relations have been started recently.
The sector has found in concrete towers a feasible solution.
Important advantages of this kind of towers are the easy to transport segments (pre-manufactured) and the high stiffness and strength that makes full-concrete tower more durable (~50 years vs. ~25 years) and less vibrant than steel. Moreover, full-concrete towers require less maintenance than steel ones (surface treatment, rescrew, etc.) and once it’s erected it is free-standing (it stands alone). Full-concrete towers will be feasible as well in off-shore applications.
But, once again, technical and economic constraints arise in crawler cranes of the tower concrete segments. Concrete segments weight 4 times more than the equivalent in steel and typical portions can be raised only up to 80-90 meters. To achieve greater heights- as 149 m.- hybrid towers have to be used, with a lower part made of concrete and an upper of steel.
It is in this context where the opportunity to develop a system that allows the installation of full-concrete towers without height limitation and at a cost well below the current systems arises.
The main objective of the project is to complete, qualify, standard setting and demonstrate in real working conditions a self-climbing telescopic crane (AIRCRANE) for the construction of full-concrete towers for wind turbines, at very low cost compared to current market solutions.

After that, the main business objective is to sale final erected full concrete towers to manufacturers of the wind turbines or OEM’s. In the whole world there are no more than 25 manufacturers, of which 10 are considered potential customers: Vestas (Denmark), GE+Alstom (General Electric, USA), Gamesa (Spain), Siemens (Germany), Enercon (Germany), Nordex+Acciona (Germany & Spain), Senvion (Germany), in offshore: Adwen (Gamesa+Areva, Spain, France & Germany), MHI (Vestas+Mitsubishi).
Thanks to AIRCRANE the building of those concrete towers will be much cheaper.
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CRANE 2