ANKER Foundations launches new precast technology for wind turbines
The Hamburg start-up company ANKER Foundations GmbH has developed a new type of technology for building foundations for wind turbines.
The young company is using its technology to solve the problems associated with classic foundation construction. Long construction times, high use of materials, dependence on the weather, complex and cost-intensive dismantling and disposal, and complex construction site logistics have all long characterized the construction of foundations for on-shore wind turbines.
The ANKER team’s foundation-specialist engineer (and Managing Director) Gregor Prass is now promising to solve these problems with a completely new concept. Fast and year-round construction, efficient use of materials, and without the need for sealing the ground first. The foundations—built to industrial and certified manufacturing quality standards—provide simplified construction site logistics and easy dismantling. With these advantages, the Hamburg company wants to revolutionize the foundation construction of wind power plants on land.
“Conventional foundation construction for modern wind turbines is expensive, time-consuming and also ecologically damaging. The same applies to the necessary dismantling, which can only be carried out with heavy equipment, and sometimes even requires blasting of the foundations, all of which is extremely time-consuming and costly,” says Gregor Prass, Managing Director of ANKER Foundations GmbH. “Our motivation for founding the company was therefore to strive for a modern foundation technology.”
While wind turbines have undergone enormous development in recent years, there has been a technological standstill when it comes to building their foundations. The idea of developing and selling an improved foundation technology came about through discussions with the Hessian project developer Burg Lichtenfels Energie GmbH & Co. KG.
The company was looking for innovative ideas for building foundations for a wind farm project. “Classic in-situ concrete foundations are not very popular, especially with property owners, as their dismantling has not been fully clarified and considerable costs can arise for property owners if dismantling guarantees are not adequately enforced,” explains Christoph Schwenzer, project manager at Burg Lichtenfels Energie GmbH & Co. KG. “From the outset, we were also impressed by the ecological aspects of ANKER‘s solution. The prefabricated foundations from ANKER Foundations GmbH require up to 70% less concrete and do not need to be sealed. This helps to further reduce the CO² footprint of wind turbines and minimizes their impact on the environment.”
While classic foundations are made of concrete which is poured on-site, ANKER Foundations GmbH is pursuing a completely different path. The foundation consists of individual parts which are prefabricated under controlled conditions, and which are then only assembled on the construction site. No heavy transport is required. “We designed the foundation in such a way that we can do without any heavy transport and the foundation is erected within three days. We can reduce construction site transports by up to 70%,” explains Gregor Prass.
At the start of 2019, the company built a first version of the foundation for an Enercon E-115 turbine. Since then, the foundation has been continuously developed and adapted to systems from a wide variety of manufacturers such as Enercon, Nordex, Vestas and SiemensGamesa, so that nothing stands in the way of widespread use. The first foundations have been mass-produced at WEC Turmbau in Emden since the beginning of October 2020.
“We are proud of what we have achieved in a comparatively short time so far,” emphasizes Gregor Prass. “Nevertheless, we don’t want to rest on our laurels, and are therefore continuing our work. At the moment, we are also focused on finding licensees around the world who want to produce or offer our foundations.”