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The tower for the tallest wind turbine will be built using 3D printing.

General Electric will build the world's tallest wind turbine with a 3D printed concrete base. GE Renewable Energy, COBOD and LafargeHolcim will design a 160-meter tower for the turbine.

Usually the height of turbine towers does not exceed 100 meters, because the diameter of its base, built of heavy steel or reinforced concrete,  should not exceed 4.5 meters during transportation. However, the companies decided to print base in 3D directly on the location of the turbine.The first prototype base for a tower 10 meters high was successfully printed in October 2019 in Copenhagen.

According to the  agreement, GE Renewable Energy will be responsible for the design, manufacture and commercial promotion of the turbines, COBOD will focus on automation and 3D printing, and LafargeHolcim will be responsible for material development.

According to the companies, a turbine 80 meters high with a capacity of 5 MW produces 15.1 GWh per year, while a similar turbine 160 meters high will produce more than 33% of electricity - 20.2 GWh.

"We see 3D printing as an extremely promising technology because the incredible design flexibility extends our capabilities as designers," explained Edelio Bermeho, who is responsible for the research and development at LafargeHolcim.

3D printing has been actively used in the energy industry in recent years. For example, solar panels made on the 3D-printer are more effective than usual, the technology is also used for the production of gas turbine blades in nuclear power.

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