The urgency to transition to renewable energy sources has intensified as global energy demands continue to rise. Wind farms are gaining momentum as an effective solution to combat climate change and reduce carbon emissions. However, constructing wind farms in remote areas with poor soil conditions poses significant challenges. Wind energy projects require careful considerations such as stabilising subgrades, strengthening access roads, creating stable foundations, and stabilising slopes. The weight of turbines and access roads adds to the complexity, with each turbine segment weighing up to 50 tonnes and the entire assembly reaching nearly 300 tonnes.
To ensure successful installation and transportation of wind turbines, robust ground reinforcement is crucial. Geosynthetics offer a compelling solution by strengthening and reinforcing soft subgrades. Global Synthetics provides geogrids like Secugrid® and Combigrid®, which excel in base reinforcement and subgrade stabilisation for wind farms. Secugrid® offers high tensile strength at low strains, ensuring stability and load transfer while preventing lateral movement of the aggregate. It reduces the thickness of granular layers for access roads, resulting in cost savings, shorter construction time, and a reduced carbon footprint. Combigrid® geogrids combine reinforcement, stabilisation, filtration, separation, and drainage functionalities, promoting efficient installation and ensuring long-term stability and performance.
Geofirma® nonwoven geotextiles, a polymer-based product, provide a cost-effective and reliable solution for renewable energy projects. Manufactured through extrusion and needle punching processes, this geotextile delivers excellent performance in drainage, filtration, protection, and separation applications. A wide range of weights, strengths, and filtration characteristics are available, providing versatile options to meet various engineering needs. The geotextiles are stored in UV-stable packaging, allowing convenient onsite storage. Geofirma® geotextiles replace traditional granular treatments, reducing costs in aggregate quantities and labour.
While geosynthetics may not be the sole solution, they often complement other techniques to achieve optimal results for wind turbine pads and platforms. Difficult soil challenges, such as collapsing peat subgrades or glacial tills, can be effectively managed by combining geosynthetics with increased concrete base sizes and extensive pile work. By utilising geosynthetics like geogrids and geotextiles, wind energy projects can enhance environmental sustainability, ensure stability, and minimise costs.
Supported by free online design software, Secugrid® and Combigrid® can provide a cots effective solution for access roads and working platforms to make the renewable energy projects even more sustainable.
For more information or assistance with your upcoming project, the team at Global Synthetics is ready to lend a hand. Our experts possess extensive knowledge and can provide valuable insights, along with reliable and cost-effective solutions. Contact us today!