Picture of a wind turbine blade. The coating is cracked

DTU brings attention to surface protection of rotor blades

Tuesday 30 Oct 18


Leon Mishnaevsky
Senior Scientist
DTU Wind Energy
+45 46 77 57 29

About the project

  • The title of the project: DURALEDGE
  • Innovation Fund Denmark subsidizes the project with DKK 11.7 million
  • Responsible: Bent F. Sørensen and Leon Mishnaevsky Jr., DTU Wind Energy
Innovation Fund Denmark is subsidizing the project with DKK 11,7 million. The objective of the project is to improve the lifetime of wind turbine blades and to reduce the service and maintenance costs during the operation of the wind turbines.

Today, wind turbine owners experience large losses of energy from many of the wind turbines. One reason, among others, is the fact that the leading edges of the wind turbine blades are exposed to rain, which causes abrasion problems. Consequently, the wind turbine blades often need repair. This is a large expense that often mounts up to millions of Danish kroner.

A new project from DTU Wind Energy aims to solve this problem. In cooperation with Vestas Wind Systems A/S, Siemens Gamesa Renewable Energy, LM Wind Power, Hempel A/S and German Covestro Deutschland AG, DTU Wind Energy is going to manufacture and test wind turbines with different kinds of coating systems to decide which one is best at protecting the wind turbine blade, senior researcher at DTU Wind Energy Leon Mishnaevsky Jr. explains. He is also the project coordinator at DURALEDGE, which is the name of the project.

“With this project we are going to develop a new protecting coating system. The new protecting system is going to make the surface of the wind turbine blades more resistant to abrasion from the elements. In this way, the wind turbines are going to be more durable. Consequently, more energy will be produced and the maintenance will be cheaper”, he explains.

Kaj Morbech Halling, who is responsible for the wind turbine blade group at Vestas, is happy to be a part of the project:
“To the wind industry, solving the problem regarding erosion of the leading edge of the wind turbine blades is crucial, as it will reduce the expenses of the maintenance”. The project Duraledge is interesting because we are aiming at identifying the fundamental damage mechanisms which cause the erosion. If we succeed, it will be possible to identify a range of solutions as resistant to erosion. Hereby, the best commercial basis for reducing or eliminating the maintenance costs has been made”, he says.

At the company Hempel they are looking forward to starting the project:
“Hempel is the leading global supplier of wind turbine coating, and we are looking forward to contributing our development resources and competencies in order to protect the investments of the end customers”, Group Manager for Blade Coatings at Hempel, Lars Rindom Jensen, says.
“Erosion of the leading edge of the wind turbine blades is a great challenge in the wind industry, and a solid protection system is necessary to support the industry’s ongoing competition against the conventional energy sources. The Duraledge project is going to identify the underlying erosion mechanisms so that we can base our coating development at a better data basis. We simply need more knowledge in order to develop a solid coating system which demands a minimum of maintenance in the lifetime of the wind turbines," he explains.