Conducting flapwise and edgewise fatigue in parallel

Thursday, 26 November, 2015 - 11:00
LM Wind Power's blade is undergoing tests at ORE Catapult's test facility (Photo: ORE Catapult)
LM Wind Power's blade is undergoing tests at ORE Catapult's test facility (Photo: ORE Catapult)

Blade manufacturer LM Wind Power and the ORE Catapult announced a strategic collaboration to develop an innovative blade test method that could help to reduce overall blade test times by up to 25 % and potentially almost halve the time for the fatigue testing alone.

Testing of critical components, like wind turbine blades, often lasts several months to simulate 20 to 25 years of lifetime. Now LM Wind Power together with ORE Catapult have embarked on an innovative partnership aiming to develop shorter and more cost effective blade tests. The project initiated by ORE Catapult set out to optimise the test design and develop a faster and even more precise method for conducting the flapwise and edgewise fatigue testing simultaneously on the same blade. The fatigue analysis software, developed by ORE Catapult in collaboration with Durham University and utilising extensive data from LM Wind Power, was recently certified by DNV GL.

The programme is now moving into the testing phase, for which LM Wind Power has delivered the 40.3 m blade that will undergo full-scale testing using the bi-axial testing technology at ORE Catapult’s facility in Blyth, Northumberland in the UK.

“It is crucial that we continue to innovate and improve in every stage of the development and manufacture of offshore wind turbines to reduce the Levelized Cost of Energy and ensure the expansion of offshore wind in the UK, Europe and beyond. The collaboration with a world-class research and test institution such as ORE Catapult cements our position as an offshore industry leader and enforces our commitment to innovation and to further developing the sector to the benefit of developers, consumers and the environment,” said LM Wind Power’s VP Offshore, Alexis Crama.

ORE Catapult Director of Innovation & Research, Ignacio Marti, added: “Great strides have been made in reducing the cost of offshore wind generation, but it is only through world-class, collaborative innovation and research such as this exciting project that we will continue to deliver such progress, to ensure a secure, affordable low-carbon energy supply and considerable economic benefit."

Katharina Garus / ORE Catapult

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