Life cycle analysis of lattice and tubular wind turbine towers. A comparative study

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Life cycle analysis of lattice and tubular wind turbine towers. A comparative study. / Stavridou, Nafsika; Koltsakis, E.; Baniotopoulos, Charalampos.

In: IOP Conference Series: Earth and Environmental Science, Vol. 410, 012071, 24.01.2020, p. 1-8.

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@article{8293594b02a04a67a2c273d0eff4e59e,
title = "Life cycle analysis of lattice and tubular wind turbine towers. A comparative study",
abstract = "Wind energy is the most promising sustainable energy source as one can conclude from the recent boost of wind farms installed globally. It is rather important to investigate the total environmental impacts of wind energy, not only taking into account the zero CO2 emissions when producing electricity from wind but also assessing the total environmental burdens and resources requirement associated with the entire lifetime of all the processes related with the energy chain. In order to quantify the environmental impacts of wind energy life cycle analysis (LCA) is performed. Life cycle analysis of tall onshore wind turbine towers is not very thoroughly investigated in literature, which is a first class opportunity to perform high-end research. More specifically in this work, studies examining the life cycle performance of two types of onshore wind turbine towers are investigated; lattice and tubular. The definition of life cycle analysis and the steps applied for its implementation are also discussed. For Wind Energy LCA five phases are usually taken into consideration: manufacturing and construction, onsite erection and assembling, transportation, operation and finally dismantling. At the first steps of the present investigation, a typical system boundary is taken into account and a literature review summary describing the main conclusions from LCA studies on onshore wind turbine towers are presented. From recent LCA results on onshore wind turbines, the manufacturing stage is proved to have the greatest environmental impact, while recycling (that is used as a preferred scenario instead of reuse in the dismantling phase) is proved to act in the most favourable way. In the present study, two wind turbine towers of the same size and same energy production capacity are investigated and compared. Both structural systems, the tubular and the lattice one are proved robust enough and the total material used for their production is calculated in previous work of the research group. The two systems have different production methods, different amounts of material used and different mounting procedures which diversifies their lifecycle performance as a total and their performance in all LCA phases examined separately. Open LCA software was used to assess the lifecycle performance of the two different wind turbine tower types and very important conclusions were derived. After having performed the structural analysis of the two tower types, the LCA analysis completes the series of criteria that have to be taken into account when deciding between the two tower configurations towards more robust, more economical and more sustainable wind energy structures.",
author = "Nafsika Stavridou and E. Koltsakis and Charalampos Baniotopoulos",
year = "2020",
month = jan,
day = "24",
doi = "10.1088/1755-1315/410/1/012071",
language = "English",
volume = "410",
pages = "1--8",
journal = "IOP Conference Series: Earth and Environmental Science",
issn = "1755-1307",
publisher = "IOP Publishing Ltd.",
note = "SBE19 Sustainability in the built environment for climate change mitigation, SBE 19 ; Conference date: 23-10-2019 Through 25-10-2019",
url = "http://sbe19-thessaloniki.gr/",

}

RIS

TY - JOUR

T1 - Life cycle analysis of lattice and tubular wind turbine towers. A comparative study

AU - Stavridou, Nafsika

AU - Koltsakis, E.

AU - Baniotopoulos, Charalampos

PY - 2020/1/24

Y1 - 2020/1/24

N2 - Wind energy is the most promising sustainable energy source as one can conclude from the recent boost of wind farms installed globally. It is rather important to investigate the total environmental impacts of wind energy, not only taking into account the zero CO2 emissions when producing electricity from wind but also assessing the total environmental burdens and resources requirement associated with the entire lifetime of all the processes related with the energy chain. In order to quantify the environmental impacts of wind energy life cycle analysis (LCA) is performed. Life cycle analysis of tall onshore wind turbine towers is not very thoroughly investigated in literature, which is a first class opportunity to perform high-end research. More specifically in this work, studies examining the life cycle performance of two types of onshore wind turbine towers are investigated; lattice and tubular. The definition of life cycle analysis and the steps applied for its implementation are also discussed. For Wind Energy LCA five phases are usually taken into consideration: manufacturing and construction, onsite erection and assembling, transportation, operation and finally dismantling. At the first steps of the present investigation, a typical system boundary is taken into account and a literature review summary describing the main conclusions from LCA studies on onshore wind turbine towers are presented. From recent LCA results on onshore wind turbines, the manufacturing stage is proved to have the greatest environmental impact, while recycling (that is used as a preferred scenario instead of reuse in the dismantling phase) is proved to act in the most favourable way. In the present study, two wind turbine towers of the same size and same energy production capacity are investigated and compared. Both structural systems, the tubular and the lattice one are proved robust enough and the total material used for their production is calculated in previous work of the research group. The two systems have different production methods, different amounts of material used and different mounting procedures which diversifies their lifecycle performance as a total and their performance in all LCA phases examined separately. Open LCA software was used to assess the lifecycle performance of the two different wind turbine tower types and very important conclusions were derived. After having performed the structural analysis of the two tower types, the LCA analysis completes the series of criteria that have to be taken into account when deciding between the two tower configurations towards more robust, more economical and more sustainable wind energy structures.

AB - Wind energy is the most promising sustainable energy source as one can conclude from the recent boost of wind farms installed globally. It is rather important to investigate the total environmental impacts of wind energy, not only taking into account the zero CO2 emissions when producing electricity from wind but also assessing the total environmental burdens and resources requirement associated with the entire lifetime of all the processes related with the energy chain. In order to quantify the environmental impacts of wind energy life cycle analysis (LCA) is performed. Life cycle analysis of tall onshore wind turbine towers is not very thoroughly investigated in literature, which is a first class opportunity to perform high-end research. More specifically in this work, studies examining the life cycle performance of two types of onshore wind turbine towers are investigated; lattice and tubular. The definition of life cycle analysis and the steps applied for its implementation are also discussed. For Wind Energy LCA five phases are usually taken into consideration: manufacturing and construction, onsite erection and assembling, transportation, operation and finally dismantling. At the first steps of the present investigation, a typical system boundary is taken into account and a literature review summary describing the main conclusions from LCA studies on onshore wind turbine towers are presented. From recent LCA results on onshore wind turbines, the manufacturing stage is proved to have the greatest environmental impact, while recycling (that is used as a preferred scenario instead of reuse in the dismantling phase) is proved to act in the most favourable way. In the present study, two wind turbine towers of the same size and same energy production capacity are investigated and compared. Both structural systems, the tubular and the lattice one are proved robust enough and the total material used for their production is calculated in previous work of the research group. The two systems have different production methods, different amounts of material used and different mounting procedures which diversifies their lifecycle performance as a total and their performance in all LCA phases examined separately. Open LCA software was used to assess the lifecycle performance of the two different wind turbine tower types and very important conclusions were derived. After having performed the structural analysis of the two tower types, the LCA analysis completes the series of criteria that have to be taken into account when deciding between the two tower configurations towards more robust, more economical and more sustainable wind energy structures.

U2 - 10.1088/1755-1315/410/1/012071

DO - 10.1088/1755-1315/410/1/012071

M3 - Conference article

VL - 410

SP - 1

EP - 8

JO - IOP Conference Series: Earth and Environmental Science

JF - IOP Conference Series: Earth and Environmental Science

SN - 1755-1307

M1 - 012071

T2 - SBE19 Sustainability in the built environment for climate change mitigation

Y2 - 23 October 2019 through 25 October 2019

ER -