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The world’s first 64.2m full polyurethane wind turbine blade

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With the rapid development of the wind power industry comes the need for larger wind turbine blades, many of which are used in vast offshore energy farms. The increasing size of wind blades has resulted in higher requirements for various aspects of wind turbine manufacturing, including the infusion resin from which they are made. To meet this challenge, we partnered with the Chinese wind turbine giant Goldwind and the wind blade manufacturer LZ Blades to develop the world’s very first 64.2m wind turbine blade made entirely of polyurethane resin – demonstrating the material’s suitability as a cost-effective solution for wind turbines in future.

Task

Increased efficiency for wind power enterprises

As well as having a significant cost advantage over traditional epoxy solution, tests showed that polyurethane infusion resin also boasts better mechanical properties, as well as shorter curing time and faster infusion speed. This can improve the efficiency of blade production – thus increasing the competitiveness of blade manufacturers. As such, the blade’s creation represents a major milestone in the sustainable development of wind power.

“Polyurethane is a very cost-effective material, and can thus provide great support for wind power enterprises when wind power prices reach parity with thermal power after 2020.”

Birong Wen

Head of Wind Blade Development,Goldwind

Challenge

Landmark moment in wind turbine blade production

Using this efficient and cost-effective solution for the full wind turbine blade paves the way for a new generation of longer and stronger blades for wind turbine manufacturers and wind farmers. It also reinforces our commitment to providing innovative products and cost-effective solutions for the clean energy industry. Birong Wen, head of Goldwind’s wind blade development team, said: “Polyurethane is a very cost-effective material, and can thus provide great support for wind power enterprises when wind power prices reach parity with thermal power after 2020.” 
 
Jitendra Bijlani, Head of R&D at LZ Blades, said: “The improvement of blade production efficiency by using polyurethane not only enhances the blade cost competitiveness, but also becomes the key to serving our esteemed customers with material technology flexibility. This keeps us ahead in an increasingly challenging market environment. ”
 

“We believe Covestro’s solution can greatly contribute to the sustainable development of the wind power industry.”

Dr. Irene Li

Head of Application Development Asia Pacific, Polyurethanes Segment,Covestro

Solution

Covestro, Goldwind and LZ Blades take wind turbine production to the next level

The 64.2-meter blade – from spar cap to the shear web and the shell – was constructed entirely of polyurethane infusion resin, making it the first of its kind for the wind power industry. Extensive static and dynamic fatigue tests will be carried out to evaluate the durability of the wind turbine blade. Small-scale production will be set to follow upon completion of the tests.

“We believe Covestro’s solution can greatly contribute to the sustainable development of the wind power industry,” said Dr. Irene Li, Head of Application Development Asia Pacific, Polyurethanes Segment at Covestro.

“The improvement of blade production efficiency by using polyurethane not only enhances the blade cost competitiveness, but also becomes the key to serve our esteemed customers with material technology flexibility. This keeps us ahead in increasingly challenging market environment. ”

Jitendra Bijlani

Head of R&D,LZ Blades

Key benefits of polyurethane resin for wind turbine production

  • Long blades Polyurethane resin makes it possible to produce blades with a length of 64.2m from spar cap to the shear web and the shell
  • Cost efficient production Compared to traditional epoxy resin, polyurethane infusion resin has better mechanical properties, as well as shorter curing time and faster infusion speed.
  • Low temperature performance and resistance Polyurethane infusion resin improves blade performance in lower temperature conditions

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