LM Wind Power opens new development facility for wind turbine blade technology
LM Wind Power (Lunderskov Municipality, Denmark), a unit of GE Renewable Energy (Paris, France), announced on Nov. 8 the inauguration of a new Technology Center Americas facility to develop and test new techniques for designing and building wind turbine blades at its facility on the NASA Michoud campus outside of New Orleans, Louisiana. The new facility will provide LM Wind Power's customers in North America with a local presence to help address engineering needs.
As part of the expansion of the facility, the GE Renewable Energy business plans to hire up to 100 additional employees on top the 50 currently employed at the facility, an increase of over 200% by 2021. The company will partner with local universities and community colleges to develop training programs to ensure that there is a qualified pool of applicants to fill positions in various engineering disciplines and manufacturing skill sets.
The new facility is ideally situated to serve the fast-growing US wind power market. The American Wind Energy Association (AWEA) estimates that the pipeline of wind farms under construction or in advanced development now totals 33,449 MW, a 40 percent increase over 2017. AWEA reports that there is almost 90,000 MWs of wind capacity in the US provided by more than 54,000 wind turbines.
The Technology Center Americas facility was originally part of Blade Dynamics, which was acquired by GE in 2015 and combined with LM Wind Power earlier this year after LM Wind Power was acquired by GE Renewable Energy in 2017.
The matrix binds the fiber reinforcement, gives the composite component its shape and determines its surface quality. A composite matrix may be a polymer, ceramic, metal or carbon. Here’s a guide to selection.
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.