July 08, 2008

Per Peterson information on steel and concrete needed for different energy

Per Peterson, Prof at Berkeley provides information on construction material for energy. 95% of construction inputs are steel and concrete.

China is making 1250MW AP1000's now, 1400MW in the next batch and 1700MW for the ones after that

Information is mostly from this Per Peterson powerpoint presentation on nuclear energy

Energy from coal, 7.3 million kg per day for a 1GW plant.

Energy from nuclear fission, 3.2kg of fuel used per day for a 1GW plant.

Energy from nuclear fusion. 0.6kg per day of fuel for a 1GW plant

Nuclear safety study from 2004

Nuclear workers compared to other industries

CO2 comparison for different energy sources


Nuclear Energy: 1996, 2006, 2016 by Per Peterson

Nuclear Research by Per Peterson


Charles Barton said...

Although P:eterson's information is useful, some of it is out of date. We need better information on recent wind materials input. In addition, we have next to no information about the materials requirements for solar both PV, and ST. It would also be helpful to have information about copper input requirements. Finally, labor input information would also be helpful. For example, Construction of AP=1000 Reactors reportedly requires between 16 and 20 million hours of labor. I have not been able to find any comparative numbers for wind or solar.

bw said...

Calculations could be produced using wind turbine design principles

Page 15 of this presentation has wind power problems and challenges from 2008

Page 25. Enercon 4.5MW offshore turbine weighs 440 tons (looks like mostly steel) Does not look like it includes any support structures

Experts consider the completion of four or five offshore wind farms by 2011 with a total capacity of around 1500 MW as realistic. Such a massive undertaking will require investments in the range of around €3.6 billion throughout Germany, which translates in terms of job creation volume into 25,000 and 40,000 ‘man years’. [so US$5B and 30,000 man years, for 1.5GW -reduce by capacity factor for projects running 2007-2011]

Mathis argued that future 5-7 MW offshore wind turbines erected in 25-40 metre deep water will require new foundation solutions. If such huge foundations were constructed as steel monopiles, the required diameter would be in the range of 8-10 metres and the total length about 50-60 metres. Utilization of jacket type or tripod type foundations with similar capacity and water depth range will, in his view, result into even higher demands with regard to fabrication, welding complexity and corrosion protection. This points to concrete foundations as the solution. However, the construction of gravity-based concrete foundations requires sophisticated formwork systems and new transport logistics methods to deal with component masses between 3000 and 7000 metric tonnes.

The REpower 5M turbine features a rotor diameter of 126 metres and a Top Head Mass (THM; nacelle + rotor) of 430 tonnes [not including tower, foundation and support structures.]

Three substructures were considered for the final selection process:

centre column tripod (CCT);
flat faced tripod (FFT);
OWEC jacket quatropod (OJQ), a four-legged jacket solution.

According to the study a CCT design requires cast nodes to improve fatigue performance, bringing the total mass up to 1080. The FFT needs three large 96-inch (243 cm) diameter piles but no cast components, while the substructure mass is 1140 tonnes. Finally the OJQ is based on a design from OWEC Tower A/S, a ‘traditional’ jacket structure adapted for REpower 5M wind turbine use. The mass of the lightweight structure, including three 72-inch piles for fixing the substructure to the seabed, is approximately 600 tonnes.(For more general information on the Beatrice project see Renewable Energy World November-December 2006)

So 600-1140 tons plus 450 tons for the nacelle and rotors for a 5MW wind turbine (1.5 MW of equivalent nuclear power). 700-1000 tons per MW (nuclear equivalent). for offshore. Land based could be less but there are size limitations on land and tower must be built higher to get same wind quality.
Enercon 6MW model has 36 concrete section

Previously, in-situ concrete (125 m hub height) or steel towers (97 m hub height) were used for the E-112/6 MW. The towers for the E-126/6 MW will be 131 meters tall and made up of 36 concrete segments manufactured at WEC Turmbau Emden GmbH. Once completed, the hub height will reach 135 metres and the overall height an impressive 198 metres.

This 2001 8 pager has a table with percentage of materials for different components of wind turbines

2007 article on 3MW turbines

Though wind turbines don't consume fuel, it takes at least 150,000 lb of steel, concrete, and fiberglass to build a single 3-MW turbine. Thus, turbines have a carbon footprint that is laid down before they ever generate a single kilowatt. And detractors point out that steel and concrete are both energy intensive, carbon-emitting industries. There are also networks of roads needed to service wind farms. And wind turbines take land, somewhere between 60 and 300 acres/MW. (For comparison, nuclear and coal plants generate about 1,000 MW/acre).

2007 8 page articles on the wind power supply chain issues

Page 6,7 shows a diagram of the major component assemblies (8000 parts)

20-25% of offshore wind is the support structures

2006: 37 Nordex N62 wind turbines (6340 tons)
NORDEX N 62 69 m hub height 1.3 MW rated power
a CSP tower structure

heavyweather said...

Go to for a wind solution with an EROEI of 375:1 or higher ;)