ORE Catapult to lead blade technology research collaboration

UK: ORE Catapult is leading a research project to improve blade technology in an effort to reduce the levelised cost of energy (LCOE) for offshore wind.

The technologies being developed will be retrofitted to ORE Catapult's Levenmouth demonstration turbine in the east of Scotland

The €4 million, two-year Offshore Demonstration Blade (ODB) project supports the research, development and demonstration of turbine blade improvements, focussing on aerodynamic and structural enhancements, blade monitoring systems and protection against blade erosion.

The technologies to be developed include: blade-stiffening, leading edge protection, add-ons to reduce noise emissions and optimise production, vortex generators, cross-sectional shear distortion sensors, and erosion sensors.

Once developed, these technologies will be retrofitted to ORE Catapult’s 7MW demonstration turbine in Levenmouth in east Scotland.

ORE Catapult believes the improvements could collectively lower LCOE of offshore wind by as much as 4.7%.

Chris Hill, operational performance director at ORE Catapult, said: "This project aims to develop a number of innovative technologies that have huge potential to further reduce the cost of offshore wind.

"Having a dedicated platform on which to demonstrate these technologies, the Levenmouth demonstration turbine, will improve our understanding of how they operate in real-world conditions and the impact they will have on blade performance, operations and cost of energy."

The project is funded under the DemoWind 2 programme, which is part of the European Union’s Horizon 2020 Framework.

During the project ORE Catapult will co-ordinate its partners: Siemens Gamesa Renewable Energy, turbine solutions provider Aerox, engineers Dansk Ingeniør Service, turbine service provider Total Wind, the Spanish National Renewable Energy Centre (CENER), Danish engineers Bladena, the Netherlands Organisation for Applied Scientific Research, the Technical University of Denmark (DTU) and the Cardenal Herrera University.