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Wind Turbine Energy Alternative Recycling

Kimberly McKenzie-Klemm's picture
Industry Technical Writing and Editing TPGR Solutions

After almost five years, I am happy to be up and writing again. Please tell me if you are still welcoming contributors articles at this time. I have had an enormous blessing of restored eyesight...

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  • Aug 25, 2022
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Has anyone else heard of interesting recycling projects moving forward in alternative or renewable energy sources? Check out this one on wind turbines- good for the whole family: https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2022/aug/23/wind-turbine-blades-...

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Matt Chester's picture
Matt Chester on Aug 25, 2022

This story is really the only one that rivals the passage of the Inflation Reduction Act as my favorite of 2022

Hans-Henning Judek's picture
Hans-Henning Judek on Aug 30, 2022

Thank you for the interesting contribution!

There are some other solutions on the horizon. Not only for recycling but design as well.

You may have heard about the investment of VESTAS in MODVION, the Swedish company producing wind towers from wood composites. This is not only resolving the diameter limitations of road transport for the base rings steel towers but also reduces the carbon footprint of wind energy substantially.
Similar activities are ongoing for the design of blades. I just received an offer from a company that wants to build turbine blades from bamboo. Bamboo is one of the toughest materials on earth, and it is easily imaginable that the Modvion concept may be applicable here as well.

In any case, we must resolve the recycling problem of blades fast as the number of wind power plants will massively increase in the next years. Pushing the problem in front of us, will not resolve it.
 

 

Kimberly McKenzie-Klemm's picture
Kimberly McKenzie-Klemm on Sep 2, 2022

I love the bamboo idea. I feel the tree conservationist in me is not quite thrilled with wood for turbines, unless we dedicated tree farms for that specific use, (rather like Christmas tree farms only for wind turbine use). We have had too many seasonal wildfires here in the USA and a lot of our forest land has been consumed.

Matt Chester's picture
Matt Chester on Sep 2, 2022

And at least the wood materials would likely be readily able to be repurposed at end of life. 

Julian Silk's picture
Julian Silk on Aug 31, 2022

You people are just not worrying about trips to dental clinics....

Kimberly McKenzie-Klemm's picture
Kimberly McKenzie-Klemm on Sep 7, 2022

lol.

Julian Silk's picture
Julian Silk on Aug 31, 2022

To be marginally more serious, is there any update on the success or lack thereof for the Polish company that is making furniture out of wind turbine blades from turbines which are no longer in operation?

Kimberly McKenzie-Klemm's picture
Kimberly McKenzie-Klemm on Sep 2, 2022

No end to the list actually of repurposed wood and wood fiber products possible...footbridges, furniture, pencils, cardboard, house-building supplies (beams, doors, banisters, etc.), and so on.

 

Mark Silverstone's picture
Mark Silverstone on Sep 5, 2022

Thank goodness the wind turbine industry is taking recycling of its components seriously. This example also appeared  recently.

Many components of a wind turbine, such as the tower and nacelle components, already have established recycling practices. Until now, the composite materials used in wind turbine blades have been more challenging to recycle because a resin system binds all components together. In its recyclable blade Siemens Gamesa is using a new resin type, with a chemical structure that makes it possible to efficiently separate the resin from other components. The process protects the properties of the materials and so allows them to be reused in new casting applications, for example in the automotive industry, or in consumer goods such as flight cases and flatscreen casings.

It is a nightmare  of mine that landfills all over the world will get filled with giant turbine blades. 

Up to very recently, as far as I know, all anyone could think to do with the blades was to burn them in cement kilns.  That´s better than landfilling, but hardly ideal. 

I think it indicates that this industry, despite its huge progress in a short time, is still very much in an R&D phase.

 

 

Kimberly McKenzie-Klemm's picture
Kimberly McKenzie-Klemm on Sep 7, 2022

I agree.

 

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