LM Wind Power manufactures longest wind turbine blade
LM Wind Power, a GE Renewable Energy business (Kolding, Denmark) has announced that it has manufactured a 107-meter-long wind turbine blade at its Cherbourg, France factory. The LM 107.0 P, the first wind blade to be manufactured that is longer than 100 meters, will now proceed with post-molding finishing touches before undergoing rigorous testing and validation to demonstrate its ability to withstand more than 20 years of operation offshore, the company says. The blade has been designed for GE’s Haliade-X 12-megawatt offshore wind turbine, said to be the world’s most powerful wind turbine to date.
In January, GE Renewable Energy announced that it will install the first Haliade-X wind turbine prototype in Rotterdam, Netherlands during summer 2019.
“The LM 107.0 P is one of the biggest single-components ever built. This is an amazing achievement not only for LM Wind Power and GE Renewable Energy, but for the entire wind industry,” says Lukasz Cejrowski, LM 107.0 P project director at LM Wind Power.
“This achievement was made possible by our team of highly passionate people developing technology and manufacturing processes, to revolution yet again the offshore wind industry with ever-larger and more reliable rotor blades — thus capturing more wind and ultimately delivering an even lower levelized cost of energy!” says Alexis Crema, VP, offshore, at LM Wind Power.
In March, GE installed its two-blade Cypress 5.3-megawatt prototype in Wieringermeer, Netherlands.
As the wind energy market continues to grow, competition heats up between glass and carbon fiber composites for turbine blades.
Yes, advanced forms are in development, but has the technology progressed enough to make the business case?
Compared to legacy materials like steel, aluminum, iron and titanium, composites are still coming of age, and only just now are being better understood by design and manufacturing engineers. However, composites’ physical properties — combined with unbeatable light weight — make them undeniably attractive.