A novel lightweight wind turbine blade design engineered from technology developed in the UK racing yacht industry has completed key trials at the Offshore Renewable Energy (ORE) Catapult R&D centre in northeast England.

The concept, hatched by Act Blade, which spun off from British yacht-sail outfit Smar Azure, is built around an internal structure formed of conventional composite materials and sheathed in a proprietary industrial textile “skin”.

The blade rig tests at Catapult’s Blyth facility on a 13-metre unit measured the design to be 24% lighter – a scaleable number according to Act Blade, meaning a 100-metre-long blade could be fabricated using the concept that was “either lighter or longer”.