Global Wind Day is marked across the world, celebrating the strong message that wind power works. The past three decades of technological development have seen continuous improvements in the relative cost efficiency of wind energy versus other renewable and conventional energy sources like hydrocarbons.
LM Wind Power is the world’s largest independent manufacturer of wind turbines blades and has pioneered many of those important and exciting innovations. The company has created longer and longer blades increasing the ‘swept area’ of the rotor and capturing the wind more effectively. This new blade will be the longest composite blade structure in the world at 73.5 meters creating an impressive swept area with a rotor diameter of 150 meters.
LM Wind Power’s new wind turbines blade for offshore wind farm plants was developed by the company’s specialist engineers in Denmark, the Netherlands and India. This experienced team has produced more than 140,000 blades which are now installed and flying across the world. When the company began in 1978 the blades were five meters long which illustrates the speed and ambition of the whole industry and the constant appetite for improved technology at LM Wind Power. The company was the first to exceed the 60 meter limit and is now the first to put blades longer than 70 meters into production.
Vice President, Product Development at LM Wind Power, Jan Kristiansen is looking forward to being able to present the first prototype blade in Denmark already at the end of this year. “The size of these impressive structures has more than doubled over the past decade alone, and although this has of course demanded the development of new materials, design and technology along the way, the new 73.5 meter blade is built on our progressive accumulation of know-how. This ensures that even though it is more than ten meters longer than our recent world record blade, it is still based on a proven concept.”
The LM 73.5P wind turbine blades will be installed on Alstom’s 6 MW wind turbines offshore, mainly in European waters, where the giant blades will travel at the speed of more than 320 km/h in order to generate green power equivalent to the yearly requirements of over 6000 European households.
“Speed to market is important in the fast-moving wind energy industry. In order to make the best possible blade available to our customers with least delay, our product development and manufacturing engineers have to work very closely together – as one team. One example is the way our in-house mold experts have produced a special prototype mold with a transparent surface. This allows for full-scale manufacturing trials where our engineers are able to follow the critical polyester infusion by visual inspection,” Jan Kristiansen explains.
LM Wind Power continues its steady technological development and is already in discussions with a number of Asian wind turbine manufacturers about making blades even longer than 80 meters – reaffirming that wind power works.
LM Wind Power is the world’s largest independent wind turbine blade manufacturer with more than 140,000 blades produced since 1978, corresponding to 49 GW installed capacity that each year, helps save the world 83 million tons of CO2. The company has production facilities in 12 locations in Europe, North America and Asia. In China alone, LM Wind Power produces blades in four large factories across the country.