LM targets 'intelligent' blades

Denmark’s LM Wind Power has kicked off a DKr65m ($11.36m) project to develop blades with wireless sensor technology that would slash the cost of energy generated by turbines.

The “intelligent” blade – which would be able to anticipate changing weather conditions and adjust pitch to capture the most energy from the wind while minimising loads on the turbine – is being designed to allow developers to run more powerful machines with ultra-long blades, without the high cost associated with reinforcing the turbine structure.

“It is our ambition to lower the cost of wind power so that it becomes more compelling than fossil fuel. The incentive to change to renewable energy sources is much greater if there’s an economic benefit in addition to large environmental benefits,” says LM vice president of business development and strategic alliances Frank Nielsen.

“We see that the manufacturers are spending significant resources on improving the efficiency of wind turbines, so we believe the market is ready to embrace new technological solutions.” 

The project – a joint effort between LM, the University of Aalborg, and technology companies PolyTech and kk-electronic – is backed by the Danish Advanced Technology Foundation.