Analysis of Ideal Towers for Tall Wind Applications

Katherine Dykes, Joseph Roberts, Eric Lantz, Rick Damiani

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaperpeer-review

6 Scopus Citations


Innovation in wind turbine tower design is of significant interest for future development of wind power plants. First, wind turbine towers account for a large portion of overall capital expenditures for wind power projects. Second, for low wind–resource regions of the world, the use of low-cost tall-tower technology has the potential to open new markets for development. This study investigates the relative potential of various tower configurations in terms of mass and cost. For different market applications and hub heights, idealized tall towers are designed and compared. The results show that innovation in wind turbine controls makes reaching higher hub heights with current technology economically viable. At the same time, new technologies hold promise for reducing tower costs as these technologies mature and hub heights reach twice the current average.

Original languageAmerican English
Number of pages11
StatePublished - 2018
Event2018 Wind Energy Symposium at the AIAA SciTech Forum - Kissimmee, Florida
Duration: 8 Jan 201812 Jan 2018


Conference2018 Wind Energy Symposium at the AIAA SciTech Forum
CityKissimmee, Florida

Bibliographical note

See NREL/CP-5000-70642 for preprint

NREL Publication Number

  • NREL/CP-5000-71326


  • optimization
  • tall towers
  • wind


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