With the explosive growth within wind energy and several turbines with blades of 60 meters or more, there is a greater need for research into the design and structure of blades. If you just upgrade the blades without simultaneously optimizing them, the weight will increase faster than the wind turbine performance.
The huge blades get relatively very heavy and therefore uneconomic if you only improve their strength by adding more material. Therefore the scientists are now working with other forms of reinforcement, for example, change of structure and support of the blade precisely where it is weakest.
"By using the latest knowledge and reinforcing the blades, we expect that the weight of tomorrow's blades can be reduced substantially," says Find Mølholt Jensen who is head of the new research test facility. Find Mølholt's PhD thesis focused on this issue, and based on his inventions Risø DTU has patented several reinforcements. One of the inventions, for instance, has proved to increase buckling strength by 30-40 percent. The implementation in the manufacturing process still remains, but Risø DTU hopes that this can be solved together with the manufactures.
The many tests and measurements are going to be used to validate seven patents on various structural reinforcements which have been taken out by Risø DTU during the past 3-5 years. They will also make it possible to evaluate and improve the methods which are being used to approve wind turbine blades
The official inauguration will be the festive end of Wind Day 2008 held by the Danish Research Consortium for Wind Energy. Director Henrik Bindslev will be present and there will be lectures on research into blade design.
Hanne Krogh | alfa
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