General Electric (GE, NYSE: GE) announced today that it acquired technology from Wind Tower Systems, that can enable the company to build and ship wind energy equipment that’s more efficient, taller and longer than what it offers now.
Longer wind turbine blades, generally, capture more energy from wind. Taller towers to accommodate these blades can be difficult to ship, install and keep steady in the field, however.
According to a GE press statement, the technology it acquired from Wind Tower Systems is “space frame tower system technology” for use at wind farm sites that require hub heights of 100 meters or more. The tall towers can be shipped in standard flatbed trucks, and can be installed without heavy-lift cranes, using WTS’s “Hi Jack” systems instead.
The tall space frame towers and lifting system concepts were developed by WTS with the support of the U.S. DOE and California Energy Commission to drive lower wind energy costs. GE plans to test the technology this year, and if all goes well, make it commercially available to wind farm developers in 2012.