The Glasgow-based UK Offshore Renewable Energy agency (ORE) has announced a deal with Denmark’s LM Wind Power to develop an innovative blade test method that could help to reduce overall blade test times by up to 25% – and potentially almost halve the time for the fatigue-testing alone.
Testing of critical components, like wind turbine blades, often lasts several months to simulate 20-25 years of lifetime. Now LM Wind Power together with ORE Catapult have embarked on an innovative partnership aiming to develop shorter and more cost effective blade tests.
The project initiated by ORE agency set out to optimise the test design and develop a faster and even more precise method for conducting the flap-wise and edge-wise fatigue testing simultaneously on the same blade.
This new test method will also have significant benefits in terms of time reductions and cost advantages, not least for the larger blades for offshore.
The fatigue analysis software, developed by ORE Catapult in collaboration with Durham University and utilising extensive data from LM Wind Power, was recently certified by DNV GL.
The programme is now moving into the testing phase, for which LM Wind Power has delivered a 40.3 metre blade that will undergo full-scale testing using the bi-axial testing technology at ORE’s facility in Northumberland.
Alexis Crama, LM Wind Power VP Offshore, said: “It is crucial that we continue to innovate and improve in every stage of the development and manufacture of offshore wind turbines to reduce costs
“This collaboration with ORE Catapult cements our position as an offshore industry leader and enforces our commitment to innovation and to further developing the sector to the benefit of developers, consumers and the environment.”
Ignacio Marti, ORE Catapult Director of Innovation & Research, added: “Great strides have been made in reducing the cost of offshore wind generation, but it is only through world-class, collaborative innovation and research such as this exciting project that we will continue to deliver such progress, to ensure a secure, affordable low-carbon energy supply and considerable economic benefit.”