Blade Dynamics to make first 100-meter wind turbine blades?
Blade Dynamics already manufacturers impressive wind turbine blades
The Energy Technologies Institute in the United Kingdom has announced that UK-based wind turbine blade manufacturer Blade Dynamics has been awarded a contract that will see the creation of the world's longest turbine blades, between 80 and 100 meters (262 and 328 feet) in length. Currently, the longest turbine blades are for offshore wind farms, maxing out at 75 meters (246 feet).
Unlike current mega-blades, Blade Dynamics will make its blades from carbon fiber rather than fiberglass, making them up to 40 percent lighter. These will be assembled from smaller components, which can be manufactured more cheaply and accurately than molding single-piece blades.
Current 75-meter blades are fitted to wind turbines with a capacity of up to 6 MW. With the new blades, the Energy Technologies Institute is aiming for a peak of 8 to 10 MW per turbine. The company claims that blades longer than 100 meters are perfectly viable for offshore purposes, and could offer 20 years of reliable performance. It says that the larger turbines enabled by the greater rotor size enable the generation of wind energy at lower cost.
After a period of prototyping, the blades should enter full production towards the end of 2014.
Sources: Energy Technologies Institute, Blade Dynamics via Reinforced Plastics
About the Author
James lives in East London where he punctuates endless tea drinking with freelance writing and meteorological angst. Unlocking Every Extend Extra Extreme’s “Master of Extreme” achievement was the fourth proudest moment of his life.
All articles by James Holloway
Making the blades lighter is not an universal good. The additional inertia of heavier blades gives you more response time to variations in wind speed.
Fantastic to see the UK finally taking a lead on the development of turbines/blades - especially given that we've stuck thousands of the things all around our coastline!
Very impressive. How times have changed sine the first real megawatt wind turbine of that type was built in 1983, using government research funding (GROWIAN), and how it was booed for wasting money.
But the boo-ers have shut up. There are two hundred thousand wind energy jobs in Europe today, four hundred thousand expected by 2020.
The same can be done for energy storage. My money is on synthetic methane, made from wind, solar, and whatever else comes our way. Put my tax money right in there. Get it hatched, and then let companies take over. Steer the market instead of thinking it is "God" and will do the right thing on its own. No more free market fairy tales...
Sorry but saying you are going to do something really isn't news worthy. I will hold my applause until AFTER they actually do something. I mean they haven't even decided on the length, let alone a design or a process. It could be a year or a decade before this is made and in the mean time someone might make a 120m blade.
I hope this isn't some Government funded project where they get to throw money at who they think should be doing this? If it's not free market and it can't stand on it's own it will be a Guaranteed looser! Why do they keep using these "wind mill" style generator's? They are the least effective, most in inefficient and most effected by adverse weather, including (ironically) to much wind! If this is a private company then I wish them all the best and hope it goes well for them! :-)
BeWalt, please explain where wind power with storage that allows 24/7 power has come even close to the economics of a natural gas fired power plant...even within a factor of 2 to one on cost per KWH after capital costs, land, etc. are all taken into account.
What has the 200,000 wind power jobs cost the European customer in terms of price of their electric power? How many jobs of a different kind were lost due to the increase in power cost and the increase in taxes for the subsidies? If after decades of such subsidies, the economics are now clearly in favor of wind, why are govts all over the world now ending or lowering the subsidies/mandates in response to economic pressures and wind companies all cutting production and jobs...including Siemans, GE and others?
i'm not sure if this works, but it would be nice...
Over 160,000 people receive our email newsletter
See the stories that matter in your inbox every morning