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30 November -0001

Wooden wind power towers triple energy production

There is a big demand for renewable energy, and the number of wind power stations continues to increase. Traditional steel and concrete structures will soon be competing with modular wind power towers made of wood, which are more eco-friendly, cheaper, and have the potential to triple the production of energy. The modular towers are being developed by Paper Province’s member company Modvion.

Higher towers are needed to increase production from wind power stations, but the transportation of the towers is a limiting factor. Wind power towers over 100 metres exceed the maximum width for wide loads within the EU, which is 4.5 metres. The company Modvion is solving the problem by using modules and is now in the process of verifying the product.

“Our patented solution is based on modules of renewable materials in glulam. This material makes it 30-40 per cent cheaper to build,” Otto Lundman, business developer at Modvion, tells us.

The modules make it easier to build higher towers, which means you can use larger generators, longer rotor blades, and reach up to stronger winds.

“By building a 150 metre high tower instead of a 100 metre tower you create the potential to triple the production of energy,” says Otto Lundman.

FOCUS ON SUSTAINABILITY
On a global scale some 20,000 new towers are built every year, and in Sweden several major park constructions are in progress. Wind power stations have traditionally been built in steel and concrete, but this is expensive and has a negative impact on the environment.

“Glulam is now attracting more attention as a construction material. Wind power is our prime source of sustainable energy and our vision is to build renewable energy in renewable constructions, and wood is the most sustainable material we have,” says Otto Lundman.

The idea was first developed by the architect David Olivegren, who began investigating how it could be possible to build wind power towers in a better way. Together with Joakim Örneblad and Otto Lundman, who at the time were studying on the master’s programme at Chalmers School of Entrepreneurship, this business concept has now been under development for just over two years. Today the team consists of the three founders, advisors and a recently employed development engineer.

QUICKER DEVELOPMENT PROCESS
Modvion is a new member company at Paper Province and has seen many advantages with the cluster.

“We have already recruited new advisors via Paper Province and hope to get contacts and new ideas about what’s the best thing to do to go forward,” says Otto Lundman.

During the autumn the company will continue to accelerate by becoming part of BioExpress, which is a concept developed by Paper Province that aims to get innovations out on the market more quickly. What can normally take up to more than one year takes about three months here.

“It’s about getting in touch with the right persons at an early stage, and so far it looks promising. We are looking forward to the process,” says Otto Lundman.

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