LM Glasfiber to supply blades for Samsung wind turbines

The five-year agreement calls for LM to supply 1,800 blades for the U.S. market out of its American manufacturing facilities; the company also has plans to research a laser-based wind blade monitoring system.

LM Glasfiber (Kolding, Denmark) announced on Dec. 17 that it has won a contract to supply Samsung Heavy Industries Co. Ltd. (Seoul, South Korea) blades for Samsung’s new 2.5-MW wind turbine. The agreement comprises a firm blade supply contract of minimum 1,500 MW (1,800 blades) over the next five years. The blades will be delivered from LM Glasfiber’s facilities in the U.S.

Mr. Han, executive VP of Samsung Heavy Industries Wind Division, says, “Samsung sees a large potential in the growing wind market. We have chosen LM Glasfiber as the supplier of blades for our new wind turbine because of their strong global presence in all major wind markets, their extensive R&D capabilities and long proven track record and we look forward to working with the leading blade supplier in this industry.”

Roland Sundén, CEO of LM Glasfiber, adds, “We are proud to enter into this strategic agreement with one of the world’s leading industrial corporations and assist them in their successful entry into the wind market. This agreement highlights LM Glasfiber’s ability to contribute to strategic cooperation with leading industrial players by applying our expertise within the manufacturing and development of highly competitive rotor solutions.”

Samsung Heavy Industries entered the wind market in 2008 with the launch of a 2.5-MW wind turbine in the U.S. The company says it aims to become the world’s seventh largest supplier of wind turbines with a market share of 10 percent by 2015.

LM Glasfiber also announced on Dec. 21 that it has entered into a new three-year research project supported by the Danish National Advanced Technology Foundation to develop laser-based wind sensory systems as an integrated part of future wind turbines. The project, which is a joint venture with Risø DTU and NKT Photonics, aims to significantly improve the load control of the wind turbine in operation thus enhancing the efficiency of the turbine and improving its overall reliability.

Integrating so called LIDARs into the blade will be an extension of LM Glasfiber's previous blade monitoring technology and the potential for improved yield is impressive. It is expected that the energy production may be increased by up to 5 percent over the wind turbine's 20-year life time. It is expected that a prototype of the new application of the LIDAR technology in wind turbines will be available in 2012. LM Glasfiber expects to be able to supply its customers with LIDAR-enabled intelligent blades by 2014.