Vindmøller i Danmark

New project: Improvement of the lives of wind turbine blades

Monday 27 Feb 17


Charlotte Bay Hasager
DTU Wind Energy
+45 46 77 50 14
Today, wind and weather eat into wind turbine blades and shortens the longevity. A new project launched by DTU Wind Energy will improve the endurance for the wind turbine blades by looking at erosion. Innovation Fond Denmark supports the project with eight million kroner.

Representatives from DTU Wind Energy, DMI, E.ON, R&D, Vattenfall and Vestas will in the following three years work on improving the longevity of wind turbine blades. Together, the representatives will work on the project EROSION – Wind Turbine Blade Erosion: Reducing the Largest Uncertanties.

As it is today, the leading edge of the wind turbine blades often have to be repaired due to the weather. The group behind the project will work on changing the way wind turbines are used in order to improve the endurance of the blades, says Charlotte Hasager, project manager and senior researcher at DTU Wind Energy:

”Today, more than 40% of the energy in Denmark comes from wind turbines. However, there is a problem with the blades in correlation with the wind and weather. Unfortunately, there is not at the given moment anything that can solve the problems. It is expensive to maintain wind turbines. That is one of the reasons why we now look into, what we can do in order to improve the longevity for the wind turbine winds,” she says.

Improvement in energy

Large amount of energy (5-20%) is today lost due to wrecked surfaces on wind turbine blade and the costs used to maintenance are huge. For a wind farm on 400 MW, a loss in 5 percent in produced energy would correspond to 1081 GWh. Economically it would correspond to 0,50 krone for each kWh.

The group behind the project has a very ambitious goal; to reduce the amount of time that the wind turbines are not working due to the erosion. The outcome should be a savings of more than 10 million kroner each year for a wind farm of 400MW.

E.ON and Vattenfall are to large companies, who produce a great amount of energy from wind turbines. They both participate in the project in order to find new ways to limit the erosion. DMI contributes with knowledge concerning wind and weather. Further, Vestas is the largest producer of wind turbines and they are interested in improvements. R&D is specialized in testing materials such as wind turbine blades and their contribution entails laboratory testing.