Wooden Turbine Developer, Modvion, Enables Net Zero Energy Production

Modvion is a Swedish business that manufactures innovative wooden wind turbine towers to accelerate the transition to renewable energy and materials. On March 21st, the company was featured in Sweden’s most acclaimed financial newspaper, Dagens Industri. The newspaper highlighted Modvion’s efforts in creating the country’s first-ever commercial installation of a wooden wind turbine farm on site this summer. The wooden tower will be equipped with a 150 metre wind turbine with rotor blades 105 metres high.

The business’s wooden wind turbine towers enable net zero energy production from the wind and are made entirely from laminated wood. “When we scale-up, that’s when we can really make a difference to the climate,” said David Olivegren, one of the Modvion founders. Laminated wood is becoming one of the most suitable alternatives to steel in many industries. This type of wood is incredibly durable with a specific strength that enables lighter construction. High steel towers require extra enforcement to support the weight, while wooden buildings do not. Modular wooden towers are conjoined with glue, while steel towers require various bolts that need to be inspected regularly.

Development of Modvion’s Wooden Wind Tower

Modvion chose laminated wood primarily due to its strength and lightweight qualities. The modules are first produced in a factory where LVL boards enter and the module towers come out. Then, those modules are stacked efficiently on lorries to be transported to the chosen development site. Once the modules are on the site, a small crane assembles the sections and stacks them into segments that can be mounted onto a large crane. After, the module is lifted into place and the tower blades are mounted. The surface coating of the wooden wind towers ensures it’s protected throughout its life. The tower’s solid wooden wall has humidity buffering properties and 24/7 monitoring to guarantee a stable environment for the tower’s structure. Once the technical life of the tower is complete, Modvion dismounts it and the high-strength beams can be reused for other projects in the industry for several more years.

Modvion’s Origin Story

 Founder and production manager, David Olivegren, realized the power of wind towers in the 90s after a background in boat production and construction. He looked into large pipe structures and came across the idea of modular wooden wind solutions.”Wind power must relate to roads and transport. Then you can’t build steel towers anyway, but must build in modules. That’s where wood comes in as an alternative,” said Olivegren. Speaking with Dagens Industri, he explains how he formulated the idea to build the wooden wind towers first, then make them modular. He founded his team at the Chalmer’s School of Entrepreneurship, which is when Modvion CEO and co-founder, Otto Lundman joined. Lundman investigated the market and how it would respond to the company’s wooden wind tower. “It’s a tough job to enter a conservative market where everything depends on cost and established technology, with a lot of gatekeepers. You have to start by not listening to everyone who says ’no, it will never work,” explained Lundman.

(Pictured from left to right: David Olivegren, founder and production manager, Otto Lundman, CEO and co-founder and Maria-Lind Hedlund, financial manager and acting CEO)

Modvion’s summer project will take the wood industry by storm. “Wooden towers of 300 meters may become a reality in the not too distant future. We have a good basis for continuing to build higher and higher, against stronger winds,” noted Lundman. “With wooden towers, you can build much more resource-efficiently. The higher we build, the more advantage we get,” concluded Olivegren.

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