LM in cost-reduction R&D push

Denmark's LM Wind Power has kicked off a groundbreaking research project to develop a range of blades with cost-trimming flexible tips. 

The four-year scheme, being running by a consortium including the Dutch University of Twente and the Energy Research Centre of the Netherlands, is targeting a cost of energy reduction of 8-10% from large-rotor blade designs featuring composite extensions of varying lengths.

"The cost of wind power, especially offshore wind power, needs to go down to compete with other energy sources and we are committed to making that happen,” says LM’s vice president for engineering Roel Schuring.

“This project aims to help wind farm developers and wind turbine manufacturers to design wind farms better and to get the most from each turbine. This will improve annual energy production and reduce cost of energy. The potential is huge.”

The project, backed by the Dutch Ministry of Economic Affairs, is working from the idea of existing lightweight composite blade concepts with "one shot" fabricated tip add-ons as a "permanent assembly of two blade parts".

Adding little extra weight, the extended blade concept is expected to result in a larger rotor that boosts annual energy production "significantly for a relatively small investment".