The European turbine maker's new recyclable blades are being used on three of the turbines at RWE’s 342MW Kaskasi wind farm in the German North Sea.
Its new blades use a new type of resin that makes it possible to efficiently separate it from the other components at the end of the blade’s working life – previously a major obstacle to full recyclability – Siemens Gamesa explained.
After decommissioning, the blade will be immersed in a mild acidic solution heated with renewable energy, which will separate the resin from the fibre-glass, plastic, wood and metals.
This will allow the materials to be recycled for new purposes, including in the automotive industry or in consumer goods like suitcases and flatscreen casings.
The technology was developed in Aalborg, Denmark, the blades were manufactured in Hull, UK and installed from Cuxhaven, Germany, noted Marc Becker, the CEO of Siemens Gamesa’s offshore wind business unit.
Becker added: “Recyclable blade technology will help reduce raw material extraction by creating the potential for secondary markets for the reclaimed material, with the job creation that this could provide as an additional benefit in local markets.”
Kaskasi is due to consist of 38 of Siemens Gamesa’s SG 8.0-167 DD turbines. Developer RWE is also trialling new ‘collared’ monopiles – which are expected to provide additional support for lateral loading – at the wind farm.
The project is expected to be fully operational by the end of the year.