The overarching objective of the POWDERBLADE project is to bring to market the innovative materials technology of a carbon-glass fibre reinforced polymer hybrid in the production of larger wind turbine blades at reduced cost and increased reliability and performance.
The immediate impact of the adoption of this substitute technology will be a 20% reduction in blade costs. For wind turbine operators, ongoing benefits will accrue from the use of lighter, better performing and more reliable blades which will lead to increased productivity and revenue.
The net effect of reduced costs and increased productivity will be a reduced Levelised Cost of Electricity (LCOE) for the European citizen who will be the ultimate end user and beneficiary of this innovation.
Additional objectives of the project are
To implement a commercialisation strategy leading to increased market awareness of the benefits of the new materials technology, successful demonstration of the new technology in a commercial setting, development of a sales order pipeline and achievement of the first commercial contracts by the end of the project.
To achieve 20% cost reduction by maximising the allowable strain and strength of the carbon fibre/glass fibre hybrid materials from powder epoxy – this can be achieved by better, through-thickness infusion and better fibre alignment than standard resin infusion.
To demonstrate a potential reduced cycle time of less than 24 hours for very large blades (c. 100m) by using powder epoxy and hybrid carbon/glass construction of the blade, thus achieving cost optimisation and supporting successful commercialisation of the new technology.
This in turn addresses commercial issues and facilitates cost savings by enabling manufacturing process optimisation and materials cost reduction.
POWDERBLADE will result in a transfer of benefits to the entire supply chain (blade/turbine manufacturers, wind farm operators, energy end-users) thus paving the way for significant expansion and further consolidation of Europe’s leading position in the global wind energy sector.
POWDERBLADE will help increase the security of supply of energy to Europe. It will ensure that European SMEs are the world leaders in the manufacture of large wind turbine blades.
Wind turbines produce just 10g of CO2 for every kWh of electricity they produce even after manufacture, installation and decommissioning are taken into account, compared to 700g/kWh for coal-fired power stations.
In addition, the project will establish Europe as an industry leader in manufacture of components and materials for large-sized wind turbine blades and increase exports.
UNIVERSITY OF EDINBURGH
The College of Science and Engineering is one of the three academic Colleges at the University of Edinburgh. It is one of the largest science and engineering groupings in the UK