Windmills were used to draw water in China and Persia as early as 200 B.C., but those simple devices bore little resemblance to the sophisticated towers providing a growing share of the world’s energy needs. Wind power is the fastest growing source of renewable energy in the world. Global cumulative installed wind capacity has grown from 6,000 megawatts in 1996 to 283,000 in 2012, and the amount of wind capacity added each year continues to grow. Capacity is estimated to grow 325 percent by 2030. The wind has always blown, but the technology to turn it into energy is rapidly evolving.
Wind towers are getting larger and more powerful. Tower heights are growing to 100 and 120 meters with rotor diameters of 94 meters. Nacelles under development will be capable of generating 10 megawatts. This trend means that there will be more tower sections fabricated from thicker and stronger steel. Additionally more towers will be placed offshore where there are higher stressed and harsher environmental conditions. Lincoln Electric has the equipment, consumables and expertise for every stage of wind tower fabrication, from setting up an assembly plant to on-site welding.
WIND POWER CHALLENGES
The demand for energy is rising even as countries look for way to reduce CO2 emission and control global warming. Though wind still provides less energy than coal, gas and oil, wind energy is increasingly competitive on price and far cleaner and safer then other sources. The wind industry is challenged with meeting this growing demand through lower production costs, increased efficiency, and increased reliability. Lincoln Electric has the products, knowledge, and experience to help wind tower manufacturers improve production efficiency and lower production costs.