Intelligent blades aim to predict weather conditions

DENMARK: Danish rotor blade manufacturer LM Wind Power has launched a research project to develop "intelligent" blades that aim to lower the cost of wind energy.

Future LM blades may predict wind speeds
Future LM blades may predict wind speeds

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Wireless sensors in the blades will predict weather conditions and calculate when they can capture most energy from the wind while ensuring minimum loads on the turbine.

"The blade intelligently senses how it is being impacted by the wind and then tells the rest of the turbine how to work optimally," said Clause Byskov, senior manager of system engineering at LM Wind Power.

The focus of the research will be how the blades are going to predict the weather.

LM hopes that developers will be able to install more powerful turbines with longer blades without further need to strengthen the turbine structure. This could decrease the cost of energy.

The company hopes to have an intelligent blade on the market by the end of the three and a half year project.

The DKK 65 million (EUR 8.7 million) research project is supported by the Danish National Advanced Technology Foundation development fund with DKK 33 million. It is a collaboration between wind-related companies PolyTech, KK-electronic and LM Wind Power, and a research team from the radio propagation and antennae department at the University of Aalborg in Denmark.

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