The Offshore Wind Challenge We Are Working to Solve:
Tall towers and foundations for modern offshore wind turbines are too large to transport over roads or rail due to their extremely large dimensions. Existing “one-off” on-site construction methods are too expensive, and are too slow for manufacturing foundations and towers in the large numbers needed, especially for offshore components manufactured in ports with limited lay-down space. This project will develop and assess the feasibility of an innovative concrete additive manufacturing process for building an offshore wind turbine tower and integrated foundation on-site. The advanced manufacturing method is targeted to reduce the capital cost of an offshore substructure and tower compared to conventional methods by up to 80% using low-cost regionally sourced concrete without expensive formwork, and increase production speed up to 20 times using an automated production-line approach.
The Scope of the Concrete Printing Project:
The 150,000 STTR Phase I scope of work entails the first-ever conceptual design and techno-economic assessment of an additively manufactured concrete offshore wind turbine foundation and tower. The one-year-long Phase I activities maximize the impact of project funding by using a recently published, DOE-funded study led by the University of Delaware as the framework with which to assess the proposed technology for an existing U.S. East Coast port. The project also builds upon work funded by the California Energy Commission that uses concrete additive manufacturing (also known as “3D Concrete Printing” or “3DCP”) to reduce technological and economic barriers to upgrading, repowering, and expanding land-based wind power generation in California, and create California jobs by enabling cost effective deployment of taller towers built onsite. A follow-on Phase II will manufacture and test a sub-scale component or assembly if awarded. The project is led by JC Solutions LLC, an RCAM Technologies’ company. The project partners,The National Renewable Energy Laboratory, the University of Delaware, Dr. Phil Barutha, and Dr. Panos Kiousis, have been carefully selected to provide world-class expertise in key project disciplines. RCAM Technologies welcomes domestic and international organizations to contact us if interested in exploring collaboration opportunities. We are also looking for talented engineering students and post-docs to join our growing team on exciting new projects and technology applications yet to be announced.