The PowderBlade project aims to modernise the production of large-scale wind turbine blades by delivering a major innovation to their manufacturing process. The project kicked off at ÉireComposites’ factory in Galway in December 2016 with a meeting of project partners from Suzlon (The Netherlands), The University of Edinburgh, and WestBIC (Galway).
For the past number of years, ÉireComposites has been developing a powder epoxy solution as a replacement technology for the current method used in the production of wind turbine blades. At present, the most common way to manufacture large (60m+) wind turbine blades is through a vacuum infusion process. While effective at smaller scales, this process is becoming a hindrance to the development of ever-longer, lighter, and stronger blades.
ÉireComposites’ research has led to the development and production of 14m long wind turbine blades for use in the 200-250 kW power range. The PowderBlade project will enable ÉireComposites and commercial partner Suzlon to be the first to market with novel blade technology that will have a lower production, transport, and installation cost. The ultimate beneficiary of this project will be the European consumer who will benefit from cleaner, cheaper renewable energy.