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Gallery: Blade Dynamics prototype modular blade

UNITED STATES: Images of the prototype modular 78-metre rotor blade being produced in the UK company's factory in New Orleans, formerly owned by space agency Nasa

  • The glass-fibre stiffening rings and spar box (green), bound by a carbon layer, are fitted together and closed in the shell

    The glass-fibre stiffening rings and spar box (green), bound by a carbon layer, are fitted together and closed in the shell

  • Blade parts being placed inside a 49-metre shipping container

    Blade parts being placed inside a 49-metre shipping container

  • The blade in Nasa's car park in New Orleans

    The blade in Nasa's car park in New Orleans

  • Engineers adjusting the ring that supports and turns the blade during construction (credit Eric Bordelon, NASA)

    Engineers adjusting the ring that supports and turns the blade during construction (credit Eric Bordelon, NASA)

  • Pre-painted blade section, revealing core materials and composites

    Pre-painted blade section, revealing core materials and composites

  • Inspecting the blade's edge (credit Eric Bordelon, NASA)

    Inspecting the blade's edge (credit Eric Bordelon, NASA)

  • The 13-metre tip of the blade

    The 13-metre tip of the blade

  • Rendering of T-bolts on root of blade, where it connects to the nacelle

    Rendering of T-bolts on root of blade, where it connects to the nacelle

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Windpower Monthly was given a tour of the facility as the final stages of production were reached of Blade Dynamics' D-78 modular rotor blade, before shipping to the UK for testing.

The prototype blade has been designed for offshore use but, according to Blade Dynamics, it serves as proof of concept for advanced onshore blades too.

Being a test blade, the D78's composite skin surfaces were all unpainted at the time of the factory visit, giving a chance to see details such as the different core materials sandwiched within the structure.

The blade itself consists of four sections from the blade root, with individual lengths of 30, 25, 10 and 13 metres each.

The D78 is being shipped from New Orleans harbour to the UK's Offshore Renewable Energy Centre's research and testing facilities, where it will undergo five months of static and dynamic fatigue testing for type certification.

The full, exclusive technical review is available in Windpower Monthly's July issue or online.

Picture credits: Blade Dynamics unless otherwise stated. 

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