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In collaboration with OEMs and transportation companies, R&D into controlled blade flexing in transport to mitigate blade length and maneuver around infrastructure constraints could be valuable.

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New blade design details and load cases must be developed to enable controlled blade flex in transport and de-risk the impact of controlled flexing on perceptions of long-term reliability.

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Long-haul rail appears possible up to 115 m blades, assuming controlled flexing is possible.

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Short-haul trucking is a key obstacle that requires innovation: 

Trucking industry has knowledge and capability to move supersized blades.

New trailer configurations with ability to articulate (pitch) and/or flex blades are needed.

Regulatory change to modify requirement of load support within 30 ft (10 m) of blade tip would benefit pace of innovation.

10.2 Enabler 2: LTA Hybrid Airships Future costs and time to market for airships remain highly speculative and information is based on input from one company. Yet, if developed at scale, cargo focused airships offer a potential path for achieving lower LCOE and facilitating wide geographic project deployment. Airship advantages increase as blade sizes and turbine populations increase. •

Allows continuation of blade cost-performance trajectory described in Enabler #1 with low risk of cost adder for transport. If LTA hybrid airships penetrate logistics market, they may be a disrupter, forcing lower costs and more innovation.

On-site landing area (~400 m in diameter) in close proximity project can be a concern, but similar issue exists regarding space for on-site manufacturing with significantly less demands on terrain flatness, foundations, utility infrastructure, environmental impact, etc.

R&D opportunity for DOE: -

DOE has opportunities to explore and accelerate application of airships in partnership with industry to enable a multi-purpose vessel that meets wind industry needs.

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Airships can benefit both land-based and offshore wind deployment and may have other applications across the energy landscape.

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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