Page 95

10.3 Enabler 3: On-site manufacturing Based on current labor-intensive blade manufacturing technologies currently available, on-site (mobile) blade manufacturing faces economic challenges driven mainly by low tool/equipment utilization caused by time spent relocating and commissioning a mobile plant and elevated costs of local labor for hiring, training, plant commissioning, and first article manufacturing. While advances in more automated manufacturing could be achieved, these advances could also be adopted in off-site factories, resulting in a moving competitive landscape for on-site applications. The opportunity space remains for blade design and transport innovations, thus pushing need for on-site manufacturing further into the future. •

Additive manufacturing could provide benefits first in blade components less sensitive to reduced material stiffness and slow deposition rates. Examples include: -

Blade molds to reduce cost for manufacturing blade masters and enable faster mold production to respond to shorter blade manufacturing life-cycles.

-

Pre-manufactured blade skin panels may offer a path to improve manufacturing efficiency and reduce costs.

-

DOE’s near-term impact would be to invest in demonstration technologies related to molds. Work with tool manufacturers and blade OEM partners to scale up mold manufacturing demonstrated for SWiFT blades and accelerate adoption by industry.

DOE R&D can also demonstrate advantages and address challenges for lower stiffness skin materials: -

Advantages include reduced sensitivity to panel buckling, enabling more flexible blades,

-

Challenges include integration with primary blade structure, fatigue properties, increased

weldability of thermoplastics, life-cycle recycling. reliance of other blade elements for stiffness, aeroelastic behavior. •

DOE is in a unique position to accelerate R&D into new high-stiffness, low-cost materials as an enabler for both on-site and off-site manufacturing.

10.4 Enabler 4: Segmented blades Without further transportation innovations, segmented blades can enable delivery of supersized blades utilizing existing transport technology and infrastructure. However, the impact of increases to system LCOE means decreases in other turbine systems must be achieved, to maintain the overall decrease in system LCOE. •

OEMs and other industry participants continue to actively investigate and strategically deploy segmented blade solutions where local market conditions are suitable. Segmented blades may be increasingly offered by OEMs as an option for select markets or regions to enable deployment of large turbines, but site-specific analysis would determine the economic viability of this solution. Due to the cost implications, segmented blades may not become the dominant blade type, but may find applications in portions of the market.

GE recently announced segmented blades to access project sites in Germany. Gamesa & Enercon have introduced then withdrawn segmented blades from their commercial offerings over the years.

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

Page 74

Profile for DNV GL

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...

Profile for dnvgl