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For Blades, Bigger is Better

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Nevelyn Black is an independent writer with a background in broadcast and a keen interest in renewable energy.  In the last few years, she transitioned from celebrity interviews and film shoots...

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  • Jun 14, 2019 9:59 pm GMT
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This item is part of the Special Issue - 2019-06 - US Wind Power, click here for more

New developments in design will help the wind power industry meet the growing demand for longer wind blades. Manufacturing company, Covestro has a new polyurethane infusion resin that features superior mechanical properties and anti-fatigue performance.  The resin has advantages in costs and process.  Zilu Liang, deputy chief engineer for wind power products at TMT hopes the collaboration with Covestro will expand to large-scale wind blades and wind blades made completely of polyurethane. 

Bigger blades and taller towers will provide greater capacity for energy production.  When building wind farms onshore the limits are endless and include but are not limited to, land use, infrastructure, transportation, landscape, and wildlife.   However, when it comes to offshore wind, the main limitation on size is engineering.  For that reason, within the last decade, offshore turbines are going up faster than onshore turbines.  Currently, the Haliade-X by LM Wind Power is the largest and most powerful offshore wind turbine in the world.  The turbine has a 12 MW capacity, 220-meter rotor, and a 107-meter blade.   In addition to being the biggest offshore wind turbine, the Haliade-X is expected to be the most efficient of wind turbines in the ocean and is capable of transforming more wind into power than any other offshore wind turbine today.  New designs for longer blades, made of better materials and greater capacity will continue to push wind to the lead in renewables.

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