Originally published in Wind Systems Magazine
In 2000, the average land-based wind turbine had a hub height of 190 feet, a rotor diameter of 173 feet, and produced 900 kW of electricity. Today, those numbers have skyrocketed, with the average land-based wind turbine now standing 55 percent higher at 295 feet, using a rotor diameter more than two times as large at 410 feet, and producing 3,000 kW of electricity—more than three times the amount produced 20 years ago. As the height of wind turbines has grown, so has foundation size, with the average foundation volume doubling in the last 20 years.
As we continue to discover more efficient ways to harness wind’s energy, it’s imperative we continue to develop new solutions to address today’s wind-turbine challenges. One such challenge revolves around wind-turbine foundations. Foundations are critical to wind-energy facility design. Common challenges wind-energy developers face when it comes to wind-turbine foundations include wind-turbine size, site location limitations, and CO2 emissions from the cement used in concrete foundations.
Read the full article in the August 2023 issue of Wind Systems Magazine (or access the PDF below), where we uncover a variety of solutions to mitigate these issues.
About the authors
Brian Tri, vice president and senior civil/structural engineer, specializes in steel and concrete design for foundations, buildings, and other structures. He has served as design engineer, project manager, engineer of record, and principal engineer for wind-turbine foundations on more than 100 new and repowered wind projects across the U.S. Brian is a member of the Barr team that provides design services for new wind projects and repowering assessments of existing wind projects. He also helps oversee damage evaluations for wind turbine towers and foundations, which involves site investigation, nondestructive testing, and structural analysis.
Matt Johnson, vice president and senior structural engineer, has more than two decades of experience providing comprehensive project leadership and management, engineering, inspection, and computer-aided design and drafting services. Matt's work includes serving as project principal and engineer of record for wind and solar energy projects. He has served as engineer of record on more than 100 wind-power projects, representing more than 15,000 MW of new generating capacity.