United Kingdom

United Kingdom

Modular blade to arrive in UK on Tuesday

UK: Blade Dynamic's 78-metre modular blade is set to arrive in the UK on Tuesday, at the ORE Catapult test site in Blyth.

The D78 blade is set to arrive in the UK on Tuesday
The D78 blade is set to arrive in the UK on Tuesday

The D78 blade was manufactured and assembled at a Nasa facility in New Orleans, US, with just the blade's tip being made in the UK.

Last month, Windpower Monthly had an exclusive look around the facility, before the blade was shipped to the UK.

The new blade will undergo five months of structural testing at the Blyth centre in north-east England to achieve type certification.

Blade Dynamics started work on the D78 blade late in 2012, winning £15.5 million (€21.5 million) in development from the UK's Energy Technologies Institute (ETI), a government and private company research partnership, following a competition for proposals to "address the current high generating costs of the UK's offshore wind energy sector".

The blade was designed in cooperation with Siemens and was expected to be tested on a Siemens 6MW turbine. However, the design may eventually be used on Samsung's 7MW prototype turbine currently operating at a site in Scotland.

ETI chief executive David Clarke said the companies were now "investigating ways to demonstrate a rotor using this technology on the 7MW turbine that ORE Catapult is in the process of acquiring".

ORE Catapult announced in July it was in discussions to buy Samsung's 7MW prototype turbine. In October 2014, the South Korean firm downsized its wind energy activities as the company shifted focus away from the sector.

Blade Dynamic's prototype was designed for offshore use but, according to the firm's sales director, Theo Botha, it serves as proof of concept for advanced onshore blades too.

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