29 Jan '16, 11pm

Enormous Blades Could Lead to More Offshore Energy in U.S.

Enormous Blades Could Lead to More Offshore Energy in U.S.

“The U.S. has great offshore wind energy potential, but offshore installations are expensive, so larger turbines are needed to capture that energy at an affordable cost,” Griffith said. Barriers remain before designers can scale up to a 50-MW turbine — more than six times the power output of the largest current turbines. “Conventional upwind blades are expensive to manufacture, deploy and maintain beyond 10-15 MW. They must be stiff, to avoid fatigue and eliminate the risk of tower strikes in strong gusts. Those stiff blades are heavy, and their mass, which is directly related to cost, becomes even more problematic at the extreme scale due to gravity loads and other changes,” Griffith said. He said the new blades could be more easily and cost-effectively manufactured in segments, avoiding the unprecedented-scale equipment needed for transport and assembly of blades built a...

Full article: http://www.pddnet.com/news/2016/01/enormous-blades-could-...

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