An innovative kind of offshore wind turbine rotor blade has arrived at the Offshore Renewable Energy Catapult's research centre in Blyth, UK, for a planned six month testing programme.
An innovative kind of offshore wind turbine rotor blade has arrived at the Offshore Renewable Energy Catapult’s test, demonstration and research centre in Blyth, UK, for a planned six month testing programme.
The 78 metr long prototype ‘D78’ blade, designed and manufactured in the UK and USA by UK-based Blade Dynamics, has been transported to the UK from the NASA Michoud Assembly Facility in New Orleans, for commissioning and testing. Its modular assembly design is unique, enabling larger, more effective turbines with reduced weight and higher performance. The final stages of the manufacturing process can be completed close to the installation or deployment site, allowing manufacturing to be distributed around the country and providing a route for the future export of blade components from the UK.
The blade, the only offshore assembly blade in the world, will undertake approximately six months of testing at the Catapult’s facilities in Blyth.
Pepe Carnevale, CEO of Blade Dynamics, said "ORE Catapult’s National Renewable Energy Centre has world-class facilities and is Blade Dynamics’ partner of choice for full-scale blade structural testing. This high performance 78m modular assembly blade will undergo static and dynamic testing here in the coming months. Independent verification that the technology is reliable is an important step in the progression towards serial installation. We are also actively exploring demonstration opportunities for our 78m blades. This incredible 78m blade has only been possible with the tremendous support of the Energy Technology Institute, whose commitment and vision is accelerating this game changing innovation into UK offshore wind and the UK economy."
Tony Quinn, ORE Catapult’s operations director, commented "This is the longest blade, and certainly the most innovative in terms of design, that we have ever tested at our facility in Blyth. Our range of test methods help to reduce risk in new blade designs and generate confidence in their performance."