Gamesa opens Singapore wind energy materials technology center

The wind turbine manufacturer will work with Singapore universities to research composites health monitoring as well as nano-reinforcements in carbon fiber composites for wind blades.

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Wind turbine manufacturer Gamesa (Zamudio, Vizcaya, Spain) announced on April 7 that it has opened a new technology center in Singapore to focus on advanced materials research.  

The new laboratory begins its work with three important research projects, conducted jointly with the Nanyang Technological University, the National University of Singapore and the Agency for Science, Technology and Research (A*STAR). Gamesa expects the tech lab to employ more than 30 engineers by 2014.

The partnership agreement with the Nanyang Technological University enables Gamesa to conduct research projects on wind turbine blade coatings and methods for incorporating the materials into the company's manufacturing systems.

Along with the National University of Singapore, the company will study methods for monitoring composite materials using embedded sensors and will assess their industrial applications. Meanwhile, in conjunction with the Institute of Materials Research and Engineering (IMRE), a research institute of A*STAR, Gamesa will gauge the performance of turbine blades' carbon fiber composites after nano-reinforcements are incorporated to lend them added strength. Gamesa will explore R&D in manufacturing with the Singapore Institute of Manufacturing Technology (SIMTech), a research institute of A*STAR.

"As leaders in technology, we are determined to offer our customers the best solutions for generating wind energy," said Gamesa chairman Jorge Calvet at the facility's opening ceremony. "We are convinced that our alliance with these institutions will help us to remain at the forefront of advanced materials research, a field in which our new partners are likewise a global benchmark."

According to Gamesa CTO José Antonio Malumbres, "These agreements offer vast potential for improving the reliability, efficiency and availability of our wind turbines and, by extension, their cost of energy (COE). We have found the ideal partners for this journey, and together we will remain at the cutting edge of the industry."

Yeoh Keat Chuan, assistant managing director of the Singapore Economic Development Board, said "We are pleased that Gamesa has decided to establish its advanced materials R&D centre in Singapore. This reflects well on Singapore's strengths as a location for wind energy research, namely our strong R&D infrastructure, skilled cosmopolitan workforce and favorable intellectual property protection. Gamesa can also leverage complementary capabilities from industry clusters such as aerospace and offshore marine engineering, to accelerate the commercialization of new technologies and applications."