New blade makers unveil designs

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Two new German wind turbine blade manufacturers are making progress on their way to the market. Serial production of 34 metre and 37.5 metre blades began at new blade manufacturer NOI Rotortechnik in November, just nine months after the company was officially founded at Nordhausen in Thüringia. Production facilities were officially inaugurated in September and the first blade produced was presented at the Husum wind energy trade fair that month (Windpower Monthly, October 1999).

In November, this blade passed all technical tests, including a load test of 26.5 tonnes. The company claims that certification company Germanischer Lloyd has congratulated NOI technical director Niels Ludwig on the excellent quality of the blade. "But we aren't satisfied yet," says Ludwig. In 2000, the company intends to have offshore versions of both the 34 metre blade and the 39 metre blade available for the market. Next year the company plans to build a blade designed for use on a 5 MW machine. Development of this, probably a 55 metre blade will be in-house, Ludwig says. The company also plans to have a blade testing laboratory in operation by next year, which will test the aerodynamic qualities of products outside the wind industry, such as aeroplane wings.

Meanwhile, Euros Entwicklungsgesellschaft für Windenergieanlagen of Berlin has completed the first tests on its first wind turbine blade - also designed by Aerodyn. After two years of research and development, the 24.5 metre blade, weighing 2.1 tonnes, was tested in early September under the supervision of Germanischer Lloyd.

The blade is the first member of a family with lengths ranging from 23.5-30 metres for turbines of 600 kW capacity up to well over 1 MW, Euros says. Series production of the glassfibre epoxy resin blades is now being prepared, the company adds. The Dutch technical university in Delft, among others, helped with R&D work. The work has been supported by funds from the city state of Berlin and the European Union.

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