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Wooden wind turbines operating in Sweden

Wooden wind turbines operating in Sweden

The turbine tower is made of two hundred spruce trees and, according to the manufacturer, can be said to be carbon negative, unlike steel, if we take into account the entire life cycle of its material.

In December, an unusual wind turbine went into operation in the city of Skara in Sweden, the tower of which, unlike usual, was made not of steel, but of wood, thus promoting carbon-negative operation. Although not all turbine parts are made of wood – for example the blades are made of fiberglass-reinforced polymer, and the nacelle is made of traditional materials – the “natural” design of the tower is enough to make the structure more environmentally friendly. Friendly, according to the manufacturer.

Swedish wind turbines Moodyvians The unit next to Scara is the first full version of it to be up and running. The 105-metre-tall tower is made of veneer laminated lumber (LVL), which is produced by gluing very thin layers of veneer together, and has a particularly high load-bearing capacity, providing a suitable foundation for the tower. 144 layers of LVL were used for the entire structure and the tower was assembled together modularly, i.e. the individual modules were glued together on site, thus simplifying the delivery process. According to Modvion, one of the advantages of wooden turbines is their modularity, because transporting large steel towers to remote locations can cause many problems, but installing modular steel modules together cannot be easily solved either.

Another beneficial feature of a timber tower is that its construction produces much lower greenhouse gas emissions than steel, and is arguably carbon negative over the entire life of the material, as trees (before being processed) absorb carbon dioxide. . The hundred-meter-tall tower requires a lot of wood, and was made from a total of 200 spruce trees, but according to Modvion, the plants are grown sustainably.

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Sweden's wind turbines currently have a capacity of just 2 megawatts, so they can only contribute to powering a few hundred homes, but in the future larger wooden tower turbines may follow, and even the blades may soon be made of wood. The company's goal is to be able to operate a plant that produces at least a hundred wind turbines annually within a few years.

(BBC Image: Modifion)

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