Danish researchers have developed a new coating system which increases the performance of offshore wind turbine blades. Currently, new technologies are being tested under the European project Windtrust to overcome blade erosion caused by heavy rain in harsh offshore environment.
LM Wind Power developed a new polyurethane coating protection system, and said the system significantly increases the reliability of blade leading edge performance by ensuring longer lifetime, less down-time and lower maintenance costs.
During operation, a blade’s leading edge is exposed to wear and tear over time, which results in blade material surface deterioration and increased surface roughness — and thus reduced Annual Energy Production (AEP). This leading edge surface erosion increases dramatically with increased rotor speed. Additionally, certain environmental conditions — such as rain, hail and particle impacts — can cause leading edge erosion if the blade is unprotected, LM Wind Power explained.
To test the system in extreme operational environments, the company conducted a reliability study of more than 1,300 blade leading edges from numerous sites.
In April, a new video as part of the Windtrust project was filmed, featuring LM Wind Power’s solution for erosion protection on offshore wind turbines.