Euros wraps SeaAngel blade tests

Blade designer Euros has set the seal on tests of its super-size 81.6-metre model, cued up to be flown by Mitsubishi Heavy Industries' (MHI) 7MW SeaAngel wind turbine prototypes in western Scotland and off Japan.

The final step in the German outfit's testing programme, carried out by research and development body the Fraunhofer Institute for Wind Energy Systems, with DNV GL as third-party verifier, means the blade is the first 80-metre-plus-class design to be "fully tested".

"The so-called post-fatigue static test was successfully completed according to IEC and GL standards," says Euros.

The latest trials follow on from flapwise and edgewise tests, completed in four days, "once again without any problems or even damages on the blade".

The blade  – a 32.5-tonne design built around ultra-stiff carbon-fibre reinforced-plastic spar caps for high load-bearing and durability – came through an accelerated 25-year lifetime test with its static and dynamic properties "the same as during the initial static test", adds the company.

Wrap-up of testing paves the way towards the blade receiving the commercially-key design assessment certificate.

The timeline for installation of the flagship SeaAngel at the Hunterston demonstration site has slipped over the last year, with expectations now that turbine will be up and running "toward the end of the summer", according to SSE. No date been set for first power generation from the machine.

In Japan, the Fukushima Forward consortium expects to mount the second prototype on its three-column, semisubmersible floating foundation this December.

Euros, meanwhile, is working on a design for an ultra-long "90-metre-plus" model with an eye on the emerging market for 10MW+ offshore wind turbines.

A new fabrication hall is planned in Sassnitz, northern Germany, for construction and testing of the new, longer model once a first order is inked.