LM expects the wind tunnel to be a magnet for attracting the world's leading aerodynamic experts to the company, either as employees or research partners. Wind turbine manufacturers are welcome to use the tunnel, but only in co-operation with LM, says the firm's aerodynamic head, Peter Fuglsang. In development of better and longer blades, the industry is constantly pushing at existing limits of aerodynamic knowledge. Fuglsang stresses the importance of using the wind tunnel to validate theory and rule out uncertainty.
If wind turbine blades can be optimised to squeeze 2% more energy out of the wind, over the 20 year life of a wind turbine the optimisation will pay the machine's entire financing costs. For this reason, Denmark's LM Glasfiber, the wind industry's biggest independent blade supplier, has invested EUR 3.35 million in the world's first wind tunnel dedicated to wind power research.