21 February 2023 – SENSEWind has selected SM Industries (formerly Valmont) to produce a first-of-its-kind, triple rail wind turbine tower for its flagship 2 MW onshore demonstration project – a single turbine plan partially funded by UK Government (BEIS) FOW grant scheme.
The onshore project will be used to demonstrate and refine the SENSE SET (Self-Erecting Tower) system and the SENSE RNA (Rotor Nacelle Assembly) system.
Notably, this same technology will also be scaled for a 15 MW floating offshore wind turbine as part of the BEIS project, with both systems expected to be ready for INTOG and ScotWind projects in the UK.
“SM Industries is one of the world’s leading and most experienced wind turbine tower manufacturers, so we are thrilled to welcome them as a key partner on the project,” said SENSEWind Chair, Julian Brown. “Working in collaboration with Aerotrope, a UK-based renewables engineering company, we look forward to SM Industries bringing Danish know-how and best-in-class insights to the tower design for serial production.”
“We were thrilled when SENSEWind asked SM Industries to become a key partner in both maturing the new 2 MW tower design as well as preparing it for serial manufacturing by making it as cost-effective in the supply chain as possible,” said SM Industries Head of Project Development, Erhard Frederiksen. “Once commercialised (10-15 MW), the scale of this ‘standard’ tower will fit our manufacturing capabilities perfectly.”
“Aerotrope is delighted to be working on the realisation of the integrated tower and rail system for SENSEWind’s cutting edge self-installing technology demonstrator,” said Aerotrope Founder & CEO Chris Hornzee-Jones. “The collaboration with SM Industries enables us to ensure that efficient manufacturing approaches are considered at every stage of the design process.”
The three rails incorporated into the tower structure enable the tower and rotor nacelle assembly to ‘self install’, dramatically saving the cost of large cranes. The project will be constructed later in 2023 with testing to run through late 2024.