Greenboats, Sicomin and Bcomp selected as JEC Innovation Awards 2021 finalists

Project partners nominated for an offshore nacelle manufactured with natural fiber composites, with a construction that saves approximately 60% CO2 equivalent and introduced viable viable options for the end of the nacelles’ life.


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NCF green nacelle.

All Photo Credit: Greenboats, Sicomin and Bcomp.

On May 17, Greenboats GmbH (Bremen, Germany), Sicomin (Châteauneuf les Martigues, France) and Bcomp (Fribourg, Switzerland) were nominated as finalists for the JEC Innovation Awards 2021. The three project partners have been selected as finalists in the awards’ “Renewable Energy” category for an innovative green nacelle, which the partners contend will be the first offshore nacelle manufactured with natural fiber composites (NFC).

The green nacelle was designed by NFC innovators Greenboats, which was also responsible for the structural engineering, manufacturing and assembly of the nacelle. The company incorporated Bcomp’s ampliTex flax fiber reinforcements (this article goes into more detail on this technology), FSC-certified balsa wood cores and bio-based resins. According to project partners, the green nacelle’s NFC construction saves approximately 60% CO2 equivalent and reduces energy consumption by more than 50% compared to a nacelle made with existing glass fiber-reinforced polymer (GFRP) technology.

In addition to a lower CO2 footprint, the natural fiber composite structure also is said to introduce viable options for the end of the nacelles’ life, unlike traditional GFRP structures. This is an issue of increasing concern for the wind energy sector (see “Defining the landscape for wind blades at the end of service life”), which presents natural fiber composites an opportunity to bring a sustainable change to this market.

Sicomin supplied its DNV GL-approved InfuGreen 810 resin system from its GreenPoxy bio-based epoxy resin system range, which was used to infuse the green nacelle’s main structural sandwich panels. The company also provided intumescent FR gelcoats, bio-based laminating resins and UV-resistant clear coatings for the structure. Materials, as well as on-site technical support, were delivered by Sicomin’s German distributor Time Out Composites (Bornheim).

“We are thrilled to be nominated as finalists for these prestigious awards and are delighted that the judges have recognized the environmental and lifecycle benefits of our natural fiber composite nacelle demonstrator for the next generation of onshore and offshore wind turbines,” comments Friedrich J. Deimann, founder and CEO of Greenboats.

The winners of the awards will be announced during JEC Connect which will be held June 1-2, 2021.