COBRA Team Tackles Blade Erosion

DNV GL has launched a joint industry project with ten commercial partners to develop a comprehensive methodology for blade rain erosion analysis (COBRA).

DNV GL has partnered with Vestas, Siemens Gamesa Renewable Energy, LM Wind Power, Ørsted, Mankeweicz, Akzonobel, Aerox-CEU, Polytech, Hempel and PPG, to take up the challenge of analysing the effect that rain erosion damage can have on the blades of operating wind turbines and identify how best to develop protection systems.

While the damage caused doesn’t often impact the structural integrity of a blade, it can influence energy generation over the life of a turbine due to degrading the aerodynamic performance of blades, DNV GL said.

Steffen Laustsen, Head of Blade Materials, Offshore Technology at Siemens Gamesa Renewable Energy, said: “With the trend of building larger machines continuing, greater research is required to provide more protection for wind turbine blades against rain erosion. The high blade tip velocities associated with large blades makes the impact of rain especially demanding. We look forward to collaborating with the Joint Industry Project partners across all industries to improve the quality and durability of future blade designs.”

The outcome of the COBRA Joint Industry Project will be a Recommended Practice for designing a protection system against rain erosion which will be published by July 2020.

“Erosion of blades is affecting the global wind industry. There is currently a lack of methods and design protection systems to prevent blade erosion, so it is vital to identify solutions and develop tools to tackle erosion problems. The COBRA Joint Industry Project will address these challenges and share knowledge to advance the understanding within the wind energy industry,” Rich Barnes, Executive Vice President Americas at DNV GL said.

Interested parties can still join the JIP subject to approval by the steering committee, DNV GL said.

Photo: Ørsted

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