US20140059957A1 - Tower foundation system - Google Patents

Tower foundation system Download PDF

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US20140059957A1
US20140059957A1 US14/012,823 US201314012823A US2014059957A1 US 20140059957 A1 US20140059957 A1 US 20140059957A1 US 201314012823 A US201314012823 A US 201314012823A US 2014059957 A1 US2014059957 A1 US 2014059957A1
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tower
foundation
base
coupler
tower foundation
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US14/012,823
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N. Daniel W. Stark
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N. Daniel W. Stark
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Priority to US14/012,823 priority patent/US20140059957A1/en
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    • EFIXED CONSTRUCTIONS
    • E02HYDRAULIC ENGINEERING; FOUNDATIONS; SOIL SHIFTING
    • E02DFOUNDATIONS; EXCAVATIONS; EMBANKMENTS; UNDERGROUND OR UNDERWATER STRUCTURES
    • E02D27/00Foundations as substructures
    • E02D27/32Foundations for special purposes
    • E02D27/42Foundations for poles, masts or chimneys

Abstract

A tower foundation system for supporting a tower includes a base that defines an open receptacle for receiving a ballast material. The system also includes a cross-member that extends within the open receptacle between opposing sides of the base. Additionally, the system includes a tower coupler that is coupled to the cross-member. The tower coupler is configured to couple a tower to the cross-member

Description

    CROSS-REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATION
  • This application claims the benefit of U.S. Provisional Patent Application No. 61/695,192, filed on Aug. 30, 2012, which is incorporated herein by reference.
  • FIELD
  • The present application relates generally to exhaust aftertreatment systems for internal combustion engines, and more specifically to selective catalytic reduction (SCR) systems with gaseous reductant injection components.
  • BACKGROUND
  • Towers for supporting large structures, such as billboards, wind turbines, solar panels, fluid containers, communication, power, and other transmission devices, lighting, freeway signs, etc., include support columns that must be firmly secured to the ground to resist overturning forces on the towers. The support columns are secured to the ground by foundations or footings. Foundations must be able to maintain support columns in an upright position despite overturning forces that may act on the columns.
  • Many conventional tower foundations include a footing embedded within a cavity that is formed in the ground. Typical footings are made mainly of concrete. The support column is secured to the footing by maintaining the column in place within the cavity and pouring the concrete around the column. Over time, the concrete hardens to secure the column to the footing.
  • Because of the need to resist overturning forces and potential inconsistencies in the ability of the soil near the surface to support vertical and lateral forces, the footing, and thus the cavity, must extend a substantial distance and occupy a substantial amount of space below the surface. For example, some conventional foundations can extend about 30-45 feet below the surface and occupy a space up to about 5,000 cubic feet.
  • To form a sub-surface cavity large enough to accommodate conventional footings and columns, a substantial amount of earth must be excavated or removed. The larger the excavation, the more labor, materials, and equipment necessary to form the excavation. For example, a crane is required to hold the support column in place while the concrete hardens. As the amount of concrete necessary to form the footing increases, the time it takes for the concrete to harden and the support column to remain in place increases. The longer the support column has to be held in place by the crane, the higher the cost for use and scheduling of the crane. In addition to increased costs for a crane, larger excavation pits result in cost increases associated with auguring and digging equipment for removing earth from the excavation cavity or pit, and water pumping equipment for removing water from pits deeper than the water table. Also, large foundations result in increased costs associated with additional concrete and concrete transportation vehicles. Additionally, concrete tower foundations require internal reinforcing elements, such as rebar, to maintain the shape and compressive strength of the concrete.
  • Other tower foundation systems are formed using pre-cast concrete components. The pre-cast components are made offsite and transported to a jobsite for assembly. Pre-cast concrete components typically are large and heavy, which adds to the difficulty and expense of shipping the components to jobsites. Additionally, the installation of pre-cast tower foundation systems likely requires use of a crane.
  • After installations, structural elements of a tower foundation may fail or tower foundations may no longer be needed in a particular location. Many conventional tower foundations do not allow for easy removal of failed components or the entire tower foundation. Additionally, most conventional tower foundations are not reusable after removal from an installation site. Also, many conventional tower foundations do not allow for post-installation adjustment should a tower be installed incorrectly, such as being vertically misaligned.
  • Some foundations are configured to support columns without the use of concrete or deep cavities formed in the ground. Such foundations utilize long anchors that embed into hard geological formations deep below the surface of the earth. Due to the embedment of the anchors, these foundations can resist substantial overturning forces without the need for deep concrete foundations. However, these concrete-less tower foundations may not be suitable for locations that do not have adequately solid geological formations for embedding the anchors, such as landfills, gravel pits, and other locations with a substantial amount of loose materials extending a substantial depth beneath the surface.
  • SUMMARY
  • The subject matter of the present application has been developed in response to the present state of the art, and in particular, in response to the problems of and needs from conventional tower foundation systems that have not yet been fully solved by currently available systems. Generally, the subject matter of the present application has been developed to provide a tower foundation system that overcomes at least some of the above-discussed shortcomings of prior art systems.
  • According to one embodiment, a tower foundation system for supporting a tower includes a base that defines an open receptacle for receiving a ballast material. The system also includes a cross-member that extends within the open receptacle between opposing sides of the base. Additionally, the system includes a tower coupler that is coupled to the cross-member. The tower coupler is configured to couple a tower to the cross-member.
  • In some implementations of the system, the base includes a closed bottom wall, and a plurality of side walls that extend substantially transversely away from the closed bottom wall. The cross-member extends between two opposing side walls of the plurality of side walls. The base can include an open upper end defined by the plurality of side walls.
  • According to some implementations of the system, the base is elongate in a lengthwise direction. The base can have a length that is at least twice as long as a width of the base. The opposing sides of the base each may have an overhang that extends partially over the open receptacle. In certain implementations, opposing sides of the base each has an overhang extending away from the open receptacle at least partially over a space external to the open receptacle. The tower coupler can be adjustable to adjust the orientation of the tower relative to the orientation of the base. The ballast material may be relatively loose material. Further, in some implementations, the base has a relatively rectangular shape and the open receptacle defines has an elongate block-shaped volume.
  • In certain implementations of the system, the tower coupler is a first tower coupler and the tower is a first tower. The tower foundation system can further include a second tower coupler coupled to the cross-member, where the second tower coupler is configured to couple a second tower to the cross-member.
  • According to yet some implementations of the system, the cross-member is a first cross-member that extends in a first direction within the open receptacle. The tower foundation system can further include a second cross-member that extends in a second direction within the open receptacle. The first direction is different than the second direction, and the tower coupler is coupled to the second cross-member. The first direction can be perpendicular to the second direction.
  • In some implementations of the system, the base is elongate in a lengthwise direction, and the cross-member extends in a direction parallel to the lengthwise direction. The base may be elongate in a lengthwise direction, and the cross-member may extend in a direction perpendicular to the lengthwise direction.
  • According to one implementation of the system, the tower foundation resists overturning forces of at least 1,000 ft-lbs.
  • In yet another embodiment, a tower foundation system for supporting a tower can include at least two spaced-apart stands that each includes a foot plate and upright member. The system also includes at least one cross-member that extends between and is coupled to the upright members of the at least two spaced-apart stands. Further, the system may include a tower coupler that is coupled to the at least one cross-member, where the tower coupler is configured to couple a tower to the cross-member.
  • According to some implementations of this additional tower foundation system embodiment, the tower coupler is a first tower coupler and the tower is a first tower. The tower foundation system includes first and second cross-members extending between and coupled to the upright members, and a second tower coupler is coupled to the second cross-member. The second tower coupler is configured to couple a second tower to the second cross-member. The first coupler is coupled to the first cross-member.
  • In certain implementations of this tower foundation system, the foot plates are spaced below the cross-member by a distance equal to a height of the upright members. Further, the foot plates can be substantially flat.
  • The described features, structures, advantages, and/or characteristics of the subject matter of the present disclosure may be combined in any suitable manner in one or more embodiments and/or implementations. In the following description, numerous specific details are provided to impart a thorough understanding of embodiments of the subject matter of the present disclosure. One skilled in the relevant art will recognize that the subject matter of the present disclosure may be practiced without one or more of the specific features, details, components, materials, and/or methods of a particular embodiment or implementation. In other instances, additional features and advantages may be recognized in certain embodiments and/or implementations that may not be present in all embodiments or implementations. Further, in some instances, well-known structures, materials, or operations are not shown or described in detail to avoid obscuring aspects of the subject matter of the present disclosure. The features and advantages of the subject matter of the present disclosure will become more fully apparent from the following description and appended claims, or may be learned by the practice of the subject matter as set forth hereinafter.
  • BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS
  • In order that the advantages of the subject matter may be more readily understood, a more particular description of the subject matter briefly described above will be rendered by reference to specific embodiments that are illustrated in the appended drawings. Understanding that these drawings depict only typical embodiments of the subject matter and are not therefore to be considered to be limiting of its scope, the subject matter will be described and explained with additional specificity and detail through the use of the drawings, in which:
  • FIG. 1 is a perspective view of a tower foundation system according to one embodiment;
  • FIG. 2 is a side view of the tower foundation system of FIG. 1;
  • FIG. 3 is a top view of a cross-member and tower coupler of the tower foundation system of FIG. 1;
  • FIG. 4 is a cross-sectional end view of a base of the tower foundation system of FIG. 1 shown with a ballast material contained within a receptacle formed by the base according to one embodiment;
  • FIG. 5 is a perspective view of a tower foundation system according to another embodiment;
  • FIG. 6 is a side view of the tower foundation system of FIG. 5;
  • FIG. 7 is a side view of a tower foundation system according to yet another embodiment;
  • FIG. 8 is a top view of the tower foundation system of FIG. 7;
  • FIG. 9 is a perspective view of a tower foundation system according to another embodiment;
  • FIG. 10 is a perspective view of a tower foundation system according to yet another embodiment; and
  • FIG. 11 is a perspective view of a tower foundation system according to another embodiment.
  • DETAILED DESCRIPTION
  • Reference throughout this specification to “one embodiment,” “an embodiment,” or similar language means that a particular feature, structure, or characteristic described in connection with the embodiment is included in at least one embodiment of the subject matter of the present disclosure. Appearances of the phrases “in one embodiment,” “in an embodiment,” and similar language throughout this specification may, but do not necessarily, all refer to the same embodiment. Similarly, the use of the term “implementation” means an implementation having a particular feature, structure, or characteristic described in connection with one or more embodiments of the subject matter of the present disclosure, however, absent an express correlation to indicate otherwise, an implementation may be associated with one or more embodiments.
  • Described herein are various embodiments of a cavity-less, and anchor-less tower foundation system. The tower foundation system of the present disclosure is particularly applicable to supporting towers above locations having a substantial depth of loose materials and/or locations where below grade substrate is inadequate or not feasible to support towers with conventional tower foundation systems. As such, in most embodiments, the tower foundation system does not require deep cavities to be formed in the loose materials, and does not include anchors embedded deep in the loose materials. Rather, the foundation system rests on top of the loose materials. Further, the configuration of the tower foundation system is particularly suited for towers requiring relatively low to high resistance to overturning forces, such as solar power towers, wind turbine towers, billboard towers, radio towers, and the like. Moreover, in some embodiments, the tower foundation of the present disclosure does not require internal reinforcing elements, but relies solely on external reinforcing elements. Additionally, for example, components of the tower foundation systems of the present disclosure can be lightweight and stackable, which makes long-distance and short-distance transportation of the components easy and less expensive compared to some conventional tower foundation systems. Also, the tower foundation systems of the present disclosure can be assembled and installed without the use of a crane.
  • Referring to FIG. 1, one embodiment of a tower foundation system 10 includes a base 20 and a tower support 30 coupled to the base. The system 10 also includes a tower coupler 40 coupled to the base. The tower coupler 40 couples a tower 50 to the tower support 30, and thus the base 20. Generally, the base 20 is positioned onto a surface of relatively loose material 60 (see, e.g., FIG. 2), such as a landfill or gravel pit, and filled with a ballast material having a weight sufficient to retain the base on the surface. The ballast material can be any of various materials, such as gravel, rocks, dirt, sand, concrete, and the like. The relatively large surface area of the base 20 provides resistance to overturning forces such that the tower 50 remains upright despite such overturning forces acting on the tower.
  • The base 20 has a generally pan-like shape with a closed bottom wall 25, two opposing side walls 22, and two opposing end walls 24. In some implementations, the base 20 can be defined as an open tray. The side walls 22 and end walls 24 are coupled to and extend substantially transversely away from the bottom wall 25. However, in other embodiments, the side walls can extend at an angle relative to the bottom wall, or diverge/converge away/toward each other. Upper portions of the side and end walls 22, 24 define an open top 27 of the base 20. The bottom wall 25, side walls 22, and end walls 24 collectively define an interior cavity or receptacle 29 of the base 20 that is accessible through the open top 27. In the illustrated embodiment, the side walls 22 extend substantially parallel to each other and the end walls 24 extend substantially parallel to each other. Moreover, as shown, the length of the side walls 22 are longer than the length of the end walls 24. As such, because the side walls 22 and end walls 24 extend substantially transversely relative to each other, the side and end walls define a substantially rectangular shape. The bottom wall 25 correspondingly has a substantially rectangular shape and the interior cavity 29 defines a substantially block-shaped (e.g., rectangular block-shaped) volume. To optimize the resistance of the tower 50 to overturning forces, the base 20 can be oriented such that the length of the base 20 (e.g., as defined by the length of the side walls) extends parallel to the prevailing overturning forces (e.g., winds), and the width of the base (e.g., as defined by the length of the end walls) extends perpendicular to the prevailing overturning forces.
  • Although the illustrated base 20 has a substantially rectangular shape, in other embodiments, the based 20 can have a shape other than rectangular, such as square, triangular, ovular, polygonal, and the like.
  • In the illustrated embodiment, at least one of the walls 22, 24 may or may not include a top ledge or overhang 26 extending along at least a portion of the length of the at least one wall (see, e.g., FIGS. 2 and 4). The overhang 26 extends at least partially over the internal cavity 29. The overhang 26 not only provides at least some containment of the ballast material within the internal cavity 29 along the outer periphery of the cavity, but also increases the strength (e.g., resistance to bending) of the at least one wall. As shown, both of the longer side walls 22 include the overhang 26 extending along the entire length of the side walls, but the end walls 24 do not include an overhang. However, in other embodiments, the end walls 24 may also include overhangs 26 along a part or the entire length of the end walls.
  • The side walls 22 can be coupled to the end walls 24 using any of various coupling techniques, such as fastening (as shown), welding, or bonding. Likewise, the bottom wall 25 can be coupled to the side and end walls 22, 24 using any of various coupling techniques, such as fastening (as shown), welding, or bonding. However, in some embodiments, the side walls and bottom surface of the base can integrally coupled together to form a one-piece monolithic construction via any of various manufacturing techniques, such as stamping, casting, 3-D printing, and the like. The bottom wall 25 can be a solid wall as shown, but in other embodiments, the bottom wall can be a grated or meshed wall with apertures sized to allow smaller ballast materials through, but retain larger ballast materials within the internal cavity and on the bottom wall. Likewise, if desired, the side and/or end walls 22, 24 may be a solid, or grated or meshed wall. The side walls 22 may have bottom lips for facilitating the attachment of the bottom wall thereto.
  • The tower support 30 may or may not be retained within the internal cavity 29, and includes a cross-member 32 that traverses the internal cavity 29 from one side wall 22 to the opposing side wall 22. The cross-member 32 can be a tubular member as shown, or a non-tubular member in other embodiments. As shown, the cross-member 32 extends substantially parallel to the end walls 24, but in other embodiments can extends at some angle relative to the end walls. In the illustrated embodiment, the cross-member 32 includes end plates 36 configured to facilitate coupling of the ends of the cross-member to respective side walls 22 via one of various coupling techniques, such as welding fastening, and bonding. The cross-member 32, in some embodiments may extend lengthwise between the end walls 24 instead of lengthwise between the side walls 22.
  • Referring to FIGS. 1 and 2, the tower support 30 also includes an upright member 34 coupled to and extending perpendicularly upward from the cross-member 32. The upright member 34 can be tubular as shown in FIG. 3 with any of various cross-sectional shapes, such as square and circular. As shown in FIG. 2, a lower end of the upright member 34 is coupled to the cross-member 32 and the upper end of the upright member is coupled to the tower coupler 40, such as the lower surface of a support plate 42 of the tower coupler. To facilitate a strong and rigid coupling between the upper end of the upright member 34 and the support plate 42, one or more gussets 38 are coupled between the upright member and support plate.
  • The support plate 42 of the tower coupler 40 can be round as shown, or have some other shape in other embodiments. Generally, the support plate 42 includes coupling elements, such as fastener system 44, that couple the tower 50 to the support plate. For example, although not shown, the tower 50 may have a flange with coupling elements (e.g., apertures) corresponding with the coupling elements (e.g., bolt and nut assemblies) of the support plate. In such embodiments, the flange of the tower 50 is supported by the support plate 42 via the coupling elements, with the coupling elements of the support plate and flange of the tower 50 retaining the flange on the support plate. The coupling elements can be individually adjustable to adjust the plane of the flange relative to the plane of the support plate. In this manner, the orientation of the tower 50 can be adjusted relative to the orientation of the base 20, such as when the base is on a non-level surface, and a vertical orientation of the tower is desired. In other embodiments, any of various other coupling techniques, such as welding, or fastener types may be used retain the tower 50 on the support plate 42.
  • Referring to FIG. 4, foundation system 10 is retained in place on a surface and resists overturning forces, at least in part, by virtue of the disposition of ballast material 80 within the internal cavity 29 of the base 20. More specifically, after filling the base 20 with the ballast material 80, the mere weight of the ballast material, in combination with the shape of the base 20, keeps the foundation system 10 and associated tower 50 in place and provides sufficient resistance to the intensity of overturning forces likely encountered by the system and tower. The foundation system 10 has no internal reinforcing elements. Rather, the side and end walls 22, 24 provide external retention or form work to keep the ballast material 80 together. Further, the foundation system 10 does not require bonding agents or materials with high compressive strength, such as concrete to fix the foundation system in place and resist overturning forces. Additionally, because concrete need not be used, the foundation system 10 can be reused and relocated simply by removing the ballast material 80.
  • The configuration of the foundation system 10, and weight of the ballast material 80 occupying the internal cavity 29 of the base 20, is capable of resisting overturning forces associated with 90 mph winds or more in some embodiments. In other words, in some embodiments, the foundation system 10 with ballast material 29 can resist overturning forces up to between about 1,000 ft-lbs and about 60,000 ft-lbs, or in some embodiments up to between about 2,500 ft-lbs and about 60,000 ft-lbs. In such embodiments, according to certain implementations, the base 20 can be four feet wide, eight feet long, and eight inches tall, and be filled with a ballast material made of rock and/or concrete. In yet other embodiments, the foundation system 10 with ballast material 20 is capable of resisting overturning forces up to between about 80,000 ft-lbs and about 200,000 ft-lbs. In such embodiments, according to certain implementations, the base 20 can be ten feet wide, fifteen feet long, and twelve inches tall, and be filled with a ballast material made of rock and/or concrete.
  • In some embodiments, the tower foundation system may support multiple towers. For example, according to one embodiment shown in FIG. 5, a tower foundation 100 includes a base 120 and a tower support 130 that supports multiple tower couplers 140 and towers 150. More specifically, the tower support 130 includes a cross-member 132 much like the cross-member 32 of the tower foundation 10. However, the cross-member 132 includes two spaced-apart upright members 134 coupled to and extending perpendicularly upward from the cross-member 132. The upper end of the upright members 134 are coupled to respective tower couplers 40. The tower couplers 140 are coupled to and support respective towers 150 in the same or a similar manner as described above in relation to the tower coupler 40 and tower 50. In other embodiments, a tower foundation system may support multiple towers with multiple tower supports. For example, although not shown, a tower foundation can include multiple cross-members each coupled to one or more tower couplers and associated towers.
  • Another embodiment of a tower foundation system 400 is shown in FIG. 9. The tower foundation system 400 is similar to the tower foundation system 10 of FIGS. 1-4, with like reference numbers referring to like features. However, the tower foundation system 400 includes two cross-members 432A, 432B that traverse the internal cavity 429 perpendicularly relative to each other. The cross-member 432A extends between opposing side walls 424, and the cross-member 432B extends between opposing side walls 422. Further, although the side walls 422, 424 and cross-members 432A, 432B have substantially equal lengths in the illustrated embodiment of FIG. 9 to define a substantially square-shaped base 420, in some implementations, the side walls and cross-members may have different lengths to define a substantially rectangular-shaped, or other shaped, base. The tower foundation system 400 also includes a tower support 430. However, instead of being mounted onto a cross-member, like tower support 30, the tower support 430 is supported directly on the bottom surface 425 of the base 420. Additionally, each cross-member 432A, 432B includes two separate sections each extending between a side wall of the base and the tower support 30. In other words, one end of each section is coupled (e.g., fastened) to a side wall and the other end is coupled (e.g., welded) to the tower support 30.
  • As shown in FIG. 10, one embodiment of a tower foundation system 500 is similar to the tower foundation system 10 of FIGS. 1-4, with like reference numbers referring to like features. However, the cross-member 532 of the tower foundation system 500 extends between opposing side walls 524 lengthwise along a length of an elongate base 520, as opposed to along a width of the base as with the tower foundation system 10. Additionally, the towers 550 of the tower foundation system 500 are directly coupled to the cross-member 532 without the use of a tower support feature. In some implementations, the tower foundation system 500 includes one or more than two towers 550 directly coupled to the cross-member 532.
  • According to yet another embodiment, the tower foundation system 600 shown in FIG. 11 is similar to the tower foundation system 10 of FIGS. 1-4, with like reference numbers referring to like features. However, instead of an overhang that extends at least partially over the internal cavity 629, the overhang 626 extends outwardly away from the internal cavity to overhang a space external to the internal cavity. The overhang 626 facilitates an increase in the strength (e.g., resistance to bending) of the side walls 622 along which the overhang extends. Similar to the cross-member 532 of the tower foundation system 500, the tower foundation system 600 includes a cross-member 632 that extends along (e.g., is parallel to) a length of the base 620.
  • Now referring to FIG. 6, a tower foundation system 200 according to one embodiment includes a base 220 similar to the base 20, and a tower support 230 with a cross-member 232 similar to cross-member 32. However, the upright member 234 of the tower support 230 is configured differently than the upright member 34. More specifically, the upright member 234 is configured to couple to an upright extension member 280. The upright extension member 280 is a tube-like element with two sets of apertures each used to couple to one of the upright member 234 and a neck 282 of a tower coupler 240 via a plurality of fasteners as shown. The neck 282 is attached to a support plate 242 via gussets 238. Although not shown, the support plate 242 is coupleable to a tower. The position of the support plate 242 relative to the base 220 and upright extension member 280 is adjustable by raising or lowering the support plate 242 and neck 282 and engaging a different set of apertures (e.g. higher or lower set) in the upright extension member. The tower foundation system 200 is shown supported on a surface of loose material 260. In the illustrated embodiment, ballast material 262 is deposited into the interior cavity of the base 220 and on top of the base up to a height above the base. The additional ballast material 262 not only acts to conceal the base 220, but also add additional weight onto the base 220 for increasing resistance to overturning forces. In some implementations, a ballast material is deposited only in the base, and a concealing material, such as a lighter weight or more aesthetically pleasing material, is deposited over the base.
  • According to yet another embodiment shown in FIGS. 7 and 8, a tower foundation system 310 does not have a pan-like base, but does rely on the weight of a ballast material to secure the foundation system in place and resist overturning forces applied to a tower supported by the system. The base 320 of the tower foundation system 310 includes spaced-apart stands 390 that rest on the surface of loose material 360. Each stand 390 of the base 320 includes a foot plate 392 coupled to an upright member 394. As shown in FIG. 8, the foot plate 392 defines a substantial contact surface for contacting the surface of the loose material 360. The large contact surfaces of the foot plates 392 facilitate resisting large overturning forces. The upright member 394, which can be an I-beam like structure, extends substantially perpendicularly from the foot plate 392. A lower end flange of the upright member 394 is coupled to the foot plate 392 via fasteners and an upper end flange 396 is coupled to a pair of cross-members 332A, 332B of a tower support 330 via a leveling system. The leveling system includes a plurality of individual adjustable fasteners that allow the orientation of the cross members 332A, 332B to be adjusted relative to the foot plate 392 and surface of the loose material 360.
  • The tower support 330 includes a pair of spaced-apart cross-members 332A, 332B. Each cross-member 332A, 332B can be an L-beam or U-beam like structure in some embodiments. A lower flange of each cross-member 332A, 332B is coupled to the fasteners of the respective leveling systems. In the illustrated embodiment, the cross-members 332A, 332B are coupled to the upright members 394 of the stands 390 at opposing ends of the cross-members to maximize the spacing between the stands. Further, the upright members 394 act as spacers to space apart the foot plates 392 from the cross-members 332A, 332B by a distance equal to a height of the upright members. Additionally, the area or footprint of the foot plates 392 is substantially larger than the area or footprint of the cross-members 332A, 332B.
  • A side wall 333 of each cross-member 332A, 332B includes apertures for facilitating the coupling of a neck 382 of a tower coupler 340 to the cross-members. The neck 382 likewise includes a plurality of apertures. As shown in FIG. 8, the neck 382 is positioned between the cross-members 332A, 332B, and secured to the cross-members via fasteners that extend through the apertures of the neck and cross-members. The vertical position of the neck 382, and thus the support plate 342 of the tower coupler 340, is adjustable by raising or lowering the neck and engaging a different set of the apertures formed in the neck with the fasteners. The tower coupler 340 includes coupling elements, such as the fastener system 344, which facilitate secure, and in some instances adjustable, coupling of a tower 350 to the tower coupler.
  • With the foot plates 392 positioned on a surface of the loose material 360, ballast material 362 is filled in over the foot plates 392, and in some cases, over the cross-members 332A, 332B. The weight of the ballast material 362 on the foot plates 392 acts to secure the foundation 310 in place and resist overturning forces acting on the tower 350 much in the same way as the weight of the ballast material in and on the base of the previous tower foundation system embodiments described above.
  • The tower foundation system 310 of the illustrated embodiment includes two tower supports 330, each with a pair of cross-members 332A, 332B, that support a respective one of two tower couplers 340 and towers 350. However, in some embodiments, the tower foundation system may include only one tower support or more than two tower supports. Also, even though each tower support 330 is shown to support only one tower coupler 340 and tower 350, in some embodiments, each tower support 330 can support two or more tower couplers 340 and towers 350.
  • Although some physical dimensions are described above, such dimensions are representative of a single embodiment of the system. It is recognized that in other embodiments, the system can have any of various other dimensions, sizes, and shapes without departing from the essence of the present disclosure.
  • The various features of the tower foundation systems of the present disclosure can be made from any of various materials, such as metal, plastics, composites, and the like.
  • Instances in this specification where one element is “coupled” to another element can include direct and indirect coupling. Direct coupling can be defined as one element coupled to and in some contact with another element. Indirect coupling can be defined as coupling between two elements not in direct contact with each other, but having one or more additional elements between the coupled elements. Further, as used herein, securing one element to another element can include direct securing and indirect securing. Additionally, as used herein, “adjacent” does not necessarily denote contact. For example, one element can be adjacent another element without being in contact with that element.
  • As used herein, the phrase “at least one of”, when used with a list of items, means different combinations of one or more of the listed items may be used and only one of the items in the list may be needed. The item may be a particular object, thing, or category. In other words, “at least one of” means any combination of items or number of items may be used from the list, but not all of the items in the list may be required. For example, “at least one of item A, item B, and item C” may mean item A; item A and item B; item B; item A, item B, and item C; or item B and item C. In some cases, “at least one of item A, item B, and item C” may mean, for example, without limitation, two of item A, one of item B, and ten of item C; four of item B and seven of item C; or some other suitable combination.
  • In the above description, certain terms may be used such as “up,” “down,” “upper,” “lower,” “horizontal,” “vertical,” “left,” “right,” “over,” “under” and the like. These terms are used, where applicable, to provide some clarity of description when dealing with relative relationships. But, these terms are not intended to imply absolute relationships, positions, and/or orientations. For example, with respect to an object, an “upper” surface can become a “lower” surface simply by turning the object over. Nevertheless, it is still the same object. Further, the terms “including,” “comprising,” “having,” and variations thereof mean “including but not limited to” unless expressly specified otherwise. An enumerated listing of items does not imply that any or all of the items are mutually exclusive and/or mutually inclusive, unless expressly specified otherwise. The terms “a,” “an,” and “the” also refer to “one or more” unless expressly specified otherwise. Further, the term “plurality” can be defined as “at least two.”
  • The subject matter of the present disclosure may be embodied in other specific forms without departing from its spirit or essential characteristics. The described embodiments are to be considered in all respects only as illustrative and not restrictive. The scope of the invention is, therefore, indicated by the appended claims rather than by the foregoing description. All changes which come within the meaning and range of equivalency of the claims are to be embraced within their scope.

Claims (20)

What is claimed is:
1. A tower foundation system for supporting a tower, comprising:
a base defining an open receptacle for receiving a ballast material;
a cross-member extending within the open receptacle between opposing sides of the base; and
a tower coupler coupled to the cross-member, the tower coupler configured to couple a tower to the cross-member.
2. The tower foundation system of claim 1, wherein the base comprises a closed bottom wall, and a plurality of side walls extending substantially transversely away from the closed bottom wall, wherein the cross-member extends between two opposing side walls of the plurality of side walls.
3. The tower foundation system of claim 2, wherein the base comprises an open upper end defined by the plurality of side walls.
4. The tower foundation system of claim 1, wherein the base is elongate in a lengthwise direction.
5. The tower foundation system of claim 3, wherein the base has a length that is at least twice as long as a width of the base.
6. The tower foundation system of claim 1, wherein the opposing sides of the base each has an overhang extending partially over the open receptacle.
7. The tower foundation system of claim 1, wherein the tower coupler is adjustable to adjust the orientation of the tower relative to the orientation of the base.
8. The tower foundation system of claim 1, wherein the ballast material comprises relatively loose material.
9. The tower foundation system of claim 1, wherein the base has a relatively rectangular shape and the open receptacle defines has an elongate block-shaped volume.
10. The tower foundation system of claim 1, wherein the tower coupler is a first tower coupler and the tower is a first tower, the tower foundation system further comprising a second tower coupler coupled to the cross-member, and wherein the second tower coupler is configured to couple a second tower to the cross-member.
11. The tower foundation system of claim 1, wherein the opposing sides of the base each has an overhang extending away from the open receptacle at least partially over a space external to the open receptacle.
12. The tower foundation system of claim 1, wherein the cross-member is a first cross-member that extends in a first direction within the open receptacle, the tower foundation system further comprising a second cross-member that extends in a second direction within the open receptacle, wherein the first direction is different than the second direction, and the tower coupler is coupled to the second cross-member.
13. The tower foundation system of claim 12, wherein the first direction is perpendicular to the second direction.
14. The tower foundation system of claim 1, wherein the base is elongate in a lengthwise direction, and wherein the cross-member extends in a direction parallel to the lengthwise direction.
15. The tower foundation system of claim 1, wherein the base is elongate in a lengthwise direction, and wherein the cross-member extends in a direction perpendicular to the lengthwise direction.
16. The tower foundation system of claim 1, wherein the tower foundation resists overturning forces of at least 1,000 ft-lbs.
17. A tower foundation system for supporting a tower, comprising:
at least two spaced-apart stands each comprising a foot plate and upright member;
at least one cross-member extending between and coupled to the upright members of the at least two spaced-apart stands; and
a tower coupler coupled to the at least one cross-member, the tower coupler configured to couple a tower to the cross-member.
18. The tower foundation system of claim 17, wherein the tower coupler is a first tower coupler and the tower is a first tower, the tower foundation system comprising first and second cross-members extending between and coupled to the upright members, and a second tower coupler coupled to the second cross-member, the second tower coupler being configured to couple a second tower to the second cross-member, and wherein the first coupler is coupled to the first cross-member.
19. The tower foundation system of claim 17, wherein the foot plates are spaced below the cross-member by a distance equal to a height of the upright members.
20. The tower foundation system of claim 17, wherein the foot plates are substantially flat.
US14/012,823 2012-08-30 2013-08-28 Tower foundation system Abandoned US20140059957A1 (en)

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US201261695192P true 2012-08-30 2012-08-30
US14/012,823 US20140059957A1 (en) 2012-08-30 2013-08-28 Tower foundation system

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US9863161B2 (en) * 2014-01-14 2018-01-09 Wilbur L. Anderson, Inc. Foundationless tower assembly
US20180128417A1 (en) * 2016-11-08 2018-05-10 Robert Rosenberg Framed modular ballast block and method of construction
US10125506B2 (en) 2015-12-08 2018-11-13 Northern States Metals Company Concrete form system for ballast foundations
US20180347138A1 (en) * 2015-11-27 2018-12-06 Tdm Technologies Inc. Guy wire support anchoring device
US20190136567A1 (en) * 2017-11-05 2019-05-09 Cochrane Usa, Inc. Base for a fence post
US10378231B1 (en) * 2017-11-22 2019-08-13 United Staging & Rigging, LLC Ballasted attachment for temporary truss structures
US10501957B1 (en) * 2018-07-30 2019-12-10 Jeffery A. Borowiak Underground post mounting apparatus
CN111810364A (en) * 2020-06-15 2020-10-23 中国电建集团华东勘测设计研究院有限公司 Gear reinforced hollow fan foundation structure for wind generating set tower cylinder

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CN111810364A (en) * 2020-06-15 2020-10-23 中国电建集团华东勘测设计研究院有限公司 Gear reinforced hollow fan foundation structure for wind generating set tower cylinder

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