United Kingdom

United Kingdom

ORE Catapult partnership to investigate longer blades

UK: The Offshore Renewable Energy Catapult (ORE Catapult) has signed a £2.3 million research partnership with the University of Bristol to look at building blades for the 13-15MW turbine generation.

ORE Catapult’s 100-metre blade test facility
ORE Catapult’s 100-metre blade test facility

The Wind Blade Research Hub will be a five-year project to build more efficient blades as turbine manufacturers look towards the next generation of machinery.

The research will investigate designs, materials, the manufacturing process and testing to improve efficiency.

ORE Catapult's research and disruptive innovation director, Stephen Wyatt, said: "Producing ever larger turbines means manufacturing even longer blades – something which pushes current technology to the very limit."

With most offshore wind turbine manufacturers looking beyond 10MW for the next generation of wind turbines, the need for blades to harness the energy that maximises the output increases.

"As such, these longer blades will need to be constructed using new designs, materials and new construction and manufacturing processes — and these new blades will need to be tested and validated," Wyatt added.

Currently, the world's longest turbine blade was developed by Danish firm LM Wind Power. The 88.4-metre blade was designed for Adwen's 8MW offshore wind turbine.

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