Vestas blade plays the long game

An  80-metre Vestas blade ‘bagged up’ for fabrication; West Medina Mills, Isle of Wight

An 80-metre Vestas blade ‘bagged up’ for fabrication; West Medina Mills, Isle of Wight

A crew of Vestas engineers in white clean-suits inch their way along the mould for what will be the world’s longest wind turbine blade, guided by a grid of razor-thin green laser beams, hunting for minuscule flaws in the laminate.

This high-tech prototype 80-metre blade — being fabricated at Vestas’ West Medina Mills R&D centre on the Isle of Wight, off southern England — has been under development for more than two years, soaking up a large amount of the company’s annual €300m-400m ($400m-533m) spend on R&D.

The new blade is destined for Vestas’ 8MW V164 turbine, the machine specially designed for the coming round of wind-power mega-developments in Northern Europe’s hostile waters.

The road to first fabrication has not been smooth. Vestas launched the V164 to great fanfare in March 2011, Log in to read complete article.

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