One of the fastest growing sources of energy
Wind power is one of the fastest growing sources of energy in the world. In the US alone, wind power has attracted more than $100 billion in private investment since 2008. In addition to the economic upside including creation of thousands of new jobs - there are many important environmental benefits, such as significant reductions to: greenhouse gas emissions; air pollutants; water consumption and withdrawals and; major carbon dioxide (about 125 million metric tons)1.
At Iowa State University (ISU), a research team led by Dr. Sri Sritharan (professor of civil, construction and environmental engineering) recently completed an 18-month, $1 million study of concrete technology for tall wind turbine towers (nearly twice as tall as current wind towers). LafargeHolcim was an "In-Kind" partner on this innovative project. Dr. Sritharan says that the "tall towers can add more capacity for renewable energy in all states across the nation".2
Hexcrete: the new concrete tower made with Ductal® UHPC
To achieve such unprecedented heights, he has been leading the development of a new concrete tower technology called "Hexcrete", assembled from precast panels and columns made with high-strength concrete or LafargeHolcim's ultra-high performance concrete (UHPC) called Ductal®. Hexcrete can also be combined with steel tubular technology to create hybrid wind turbine towers.
Extensive lab tests conducted by the ISU team have demonstrated that the technology will work and economic studies indicate that the technology can be cost competitive 2, presenting a strong case for the future global construction of taller, extremely durable wind towers made with Ductal® UHPC!