POSCO's thick plate wins DNV certification as wind turbine raw material

By Lim Chang-won Posted : October 26, 2022, 11:28 Updated : October 26, 2022, 11:28

[Courtesy of POSCO]

SEOUL -- DNV, a classification society based in Norway, has certified South Korea's leading steel group, POSCO, as a company to produce thick steel plates that can reduce the use of steel for wind turbine towers and sub-substructure by about 10 percent. The steelmaker promotes its product as a cost-efficient material that can cope with rising raw material prices.

DNV approved the thick plate plant of POSCO's steel mill in the southern industrial port city of Gwangyang as a steel plant for renewable energy. The steelmaker said its thick plate product of the EN-S355 standard, which implements uniform yield strength, would be sold as a wind power generator material.  

"We will have a supply system of high functional plates for wind power," Park Eul-son, a POSCO official in charge of energy, shipbuilding and marketing, said in a statement on October 26. "We think that customers can reduce the use of tower and substructure steel by about 10 percent under the same design conditions."

Wind turbine blades are generally made of carbon fiber or alloys, but tubular steel has been a popular wind industry choice for large high-strength towers and their substructure. POSCO said the strength of its thick plate up to 100 mm thick can be maintained at 355 megapascals (MPa), reducing the use of steel by about three percent when applied to wind towers of 10MW or higher. 

The yield strength of wind tower turbines has been designed by thickness specified in European standards. POSCO's product does not differ much in manufacturing costs compared to existing steel materials, the company said, adding that its plate can reduce the levelized cost of energy (LCOE) required by the wind turbine industry. LCOE is a measure of the average net present cost of electricity generation for a generator over its lifetime. It is used for investment planning and to compare different methods of electricity generation on a consistent basis.

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