Seven new technological blade enhancements aim to reduce cost of offshore wind energy by up to 4.7%

Fernando Sánchez, de la CEU UCH, junto a investigadores del grupo europeo ODB en las instalaciones de ORE Catapult. (Foto: ORE Catapult).

A major, international €4 million research collaboration between 10 European partners is leading the development of seven novel offshore wind turbine blade technologies, which collectively could lower the levelised cost of energy (LCOE) of offshore wind by as much as 4.7%. The two-year Demowind-funded project will be coordinated by the UK’s ORE Catapult Development Services Ltd (ODSL), and involve leading organisations in wind turbine innovation including CENER, Bladena, TNO, Aerox, Siemens Gamesa Renewable Energy, Total Wind, Dansk IngeniørService A/S (DIS), the Technical University of Denmark (DTU) and the CEU Cardenal Herrera University in Spain.

The Offshore Demonstration Blade (ODB) project is supporting the research, development and demonstration of wind turbine blade innovations, including aerodynamic and structural enhancements, blade monitoring systems and blade erosion protection solutions. These products will be developed and retrofitted to the Offshore Renewable Energy (ORE) Catapult’s 7MW Levenmouth Demonstration Turbine in Scotland for demonstration purposes. The innovations will then be ready for deployment on existing or new offshore turbines.

Modelo de turbina de demostración 7MW de Levenmouth Offshore Renewable Energy (ORE), en Escocia, donde se testarán los avances del grupo investigador europeo ODB. (Foto: ORE Catapult).

Operations and maintenance costs represent almost a quarter of the total LCOE of an offshore wind turbine, with rotor operations and maintenance, specifically blade erosion and blade structural integrity, representing a large share of these costs. Therefore, improving the performance and operational lifetime of turbine blades will have a direct impact in lowering LCOE.

The CEU Cardenal Herrera University participates in this European project the researchers of the TecEner Group for the development of technologies in energy applications, led by Professor Dr. Fernando Sánchez López, director of the Research Institute of Design, Innovation and Technology IDIT-CEU. His work consists of the numerical modeling of new polymeric materials and their manufacturing processes for the surface coating of wind turbine blades. The objective is to develop solutions that make them more resistant to erosion caused by the impact of rain drop, especially important in large wind turbines that are installed in marine areas with adverse weather conditions.

The project, has got a proposal for a provisional resolution for funding by the Ministry of Economy and Competitiveness, under the program of Aid for International Joint Programming Actions (APCIN 2017), and the international program DEMOWIND 2, ERA-NET, COFUND.


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