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K-tower repowering concept

To repower former wind parks, the existing wind turbines (WT) are removed complete with their foundations, and the area is restored to its natural state. Following this, new hybrid towers – fewer in number, but taller – are built on the restored parcel of land.

K-tower repowering from Salzgitter Mannesmann Renewables is an economically and ecologically advanced repowering option developed together with K-Tower Systems. Some of the round foundations in place are retained and modified so they can be used for the K-towers. In this way, their costly demolition and the construction of new foundations for the hybrid towers are avoided, which substantially speeds up the progress of the repowering project and helps reduce its cost. Our investigations have shown that such "old" foundations can stand up to the loads of the new wind turbines and provide dependable service for years to come.

Modification of an existing round foundation: Addition of new brackets for the legs of the K-tower

Top view
Top view
Section 1 - 1
Section 1 - 1

Application example: Conventional repowering vs. K-tower repowering

Before repowering New
Number of turbines 14 6
Power output per turbine 1.8 MW 3 MW
Hub height 90 m 140 m*
Total capacity 25.2 MW 27 MW (>25.2 MW, i.e. capacity increase)

*Assumption: approx. 1 % capacity increase per meter added to hub height

Comparison of 1st phase: demolition of the old wind turbines

Conventional repowering
Demolition: 14 turbines complete with towers and foundations (yellow)
K-tower repowering
Demolition demolish 6 turbines complete with towers, leave (and partially expose) foundations (white-yellow);
demolish 8 turbines complete with towers and foundations (yellow)

Comparison of 2nd phase: new construction and partial land restoration

Conventional repowering
New construction: 6 large, circular foundations in former construction pits (red),
6 hybrid towers with 6 turbines
Land restoration: Backfill 8 former construction pits, restore the site (green shaded)
K-tower repowering
New construction: The 6 retained foundations are complemented by 4 brackets each for installation of the K-towers (red) and 6 turbines
Land restoration: Backfill 8 former construction pits, restore the site (green shaded)

Comparison of 3rd phase: Demolition and land restoration (at the end of the new turbine's service life)

Conventional repowering
End of service life: Demolish 6 hybrid towers with 6 turbines,
and 6 large, circular foundations
Land restoration: Backfill 6 construction pits, restore the site
K-tower repowering
End of service life: Demolish 6 K-towers with 6 turbines,
and 6 large, circular foundations, including brackets
Land restoration: Backfill 6 construction pits, restore the site

Conclusion

Besides the general cost benefits of the K-tower, K-tower repowering yields additional significant savings in time and cost:

  1. Only about 60 % of the old foundations have to be demolished.
  2. No need to build new foundations for the hybrid towers.

Inquiries

If you have any questions or requirements concerning K-tower repowering, please send an email to onshore-wind@szmr.de.

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