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3 STUDY APPROACH The core approach of this study is a quantitative evaluation of the manufacture, transport, and erection of land-based wind turbines with blade lengths ranging from 65 m to 115 m. Detailed system-level cost modeling was performed for the baseline (65-m blade) wind turbine; subsequent analysis for larger turbines focused on the cost to manufacture, transport, and install blades in the range of 75 m to 115 m, with impact on LCOE as the primary metric.

3.1 Enabling pathways As constraints exist to cost-effective scaling of current conventional manufacturing and transportation technologies within this size range, alternatives were identified and evaluated. These alternatives are designated as “Pathways,” with three major categories identified for evaluation in this study: 1. Innovative transportation: Continued scaling-up of current manufacturing approach – monolithic blades with two scenario variants: -

Dimensional constraints of the blades as needed to facilitate long-haul transportation by truck or rail. Blade width and height are constrained due to significant barriers such as overpass and tunnel clearances with innovations to enable increasing component lengths

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Blade dimensions unconstrained with nonconventional transportation such as LTA airships

2. Hybrid solutions (segmented blades): These include segmented or modular blades, with major components manufactured as current conventional approach within dimensional constraints with onsite assembly. 3. On-site manufacturing: Development of temporary or short-term factories in close proximity to wind turbine projects so that long-haul transportation from factory is avoided. Any of these three pathways may be enabled by alternative manufacturing and materials technologies. Examples include additive manufacturing, thermoplastic blade skins, and low-cost carbon fibers.

3.2 Modeling approach This study was executed to focus analysis on key factors and pathways that enable a complete blade to be positioned at a turbine pad (within a hypothetical wind project) and ready for inclusion in the wind turbine assembly process. To explore different pathways related to enabling supersized blades, we chose not to perform a study of costs and logistics related to all wind turbine components (nacelles, towers, hubs, drive train, balance of station, etc.). In addition, we acknowledge that optimization of blade design, assumptions, and logistics techniques within each pathway is an area where further R&D effort could be considered. This project focused on studying alternatives across the pathways to identify high value R&D opportunities; however, optimizing each scenario studied was beyond the current scope of inquiry. Optimization of a solution within a given pathway can be performed as part of future research. Primary parameters for modeling and analysis used in this study are the total cost of a delivered blade and the blade contribution to system LCOE. Items included in these parameters are: 1. Cost of a manufactured blade

DNV GL – Document No.: 10080081-HOU-R-01, Issue: C, Status: FINAL www.dnvgl.com

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Supersized wind turbine blade study  

R&D pathways for supersized wind turbine bladesSupersized wind turbine blade studyLawrence Berkeley National LaboratoryDocument Number: 1008...

Supersized wind turbine blade study  

R&D pathways for supersized wind turbine bladesSupersized wind turbine blade studyLawrence Berkeley National LaboratoryDocument Number: 1008...

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