The objective of the proposed project is to develop a new generation megawatt-scale wind turbine blade type. The proposed blade type will be caracterized by low cost, accurately predicted aerodynamic data with high performance, improved structural design with built-in "passive" quality assurance, easy adaptation to local conditions, integrated de-icing, and reduced impact on environment from production and end product.
Computational tools will be developed, combining the best available deterministic calculation programs with a neural network learning from comparisons of predicted and real results for a large database of existing rotors. The blade material will be fibre reinforced thermoplastics. Using film stacking technology the lowest possible material cost price can be achieved. The blade will be manufactured in a closed production process with vacuum consolidation, resulting in a one-piece blade without adhesive joints. the tooling technology will be based on ceramic mould casting around a wooden plug. This technology will allow the easy modification of blade shape, thereby facilitating the adaptation of blades for local conditions. The de-icing system will be either an electrical surface heating or an internal hot air heating of the entire blade. The production process will be "dry" and will present no occupational health hazard. The product itself can be recycled. Consequently, the impact on the environment from production process and end product is significantly reduced compared with present-day technology.
The project has the following measurable objectives :
- A blade optimizing process capable of designing an optimized blade for a given application at less than 200 h of engineering imput, predicting the annual energy output with less than 3 percent error.
- A complete tooling price of less than 100,000 ECU for a new 2 MW blade end a tooling development time of less than three months from design specifica tion;
- A moderate-batch production price for three blades of less than 30 ECU per sq.m swept rotor area.
- An integrated de-icing system capable of de-icing under Northern Scandinavian conditions.
- A production process presenting no occupational health hazards and requiring no special protection equipment other than that required due to fibre handling.
Funding SchemeCSC - Cost-sharing contracts
BS2 0QD Bristol