Reducing Cost and Weight of Wind Turbine Blades Using Engineered Core
Currently, balsa and PVC foam are widely used as the core/stiffening material in the shear webs and blade surfaces of large wind turbine blades. In previous work, it has been shown that engineered Fiber Reinforced Core (FRC) materials can provide comparable stiffness and strength, while significantly reducing both cost and weight. These engineered FRC materials are customizable and offer excellent mechanical properties, including impact and damage tolerance, specific strength, and specific stiffness. In this project, FRC technology will be applied to wind turbine blades. Phase I will involve material characterization and design optimization studies specific to the wind turbine application. Commercial Applications and other Benefits as described by the awardee: An innovative composite engineered core has the potential to dramatically reduce the weight and cost of large wind turbine blades. Reductions in weight and cost would enable the use of larger blades for more efficient wind harvesting. In turn, an increased efficiency would allow for the development of facilities in previously unexploited areas, thereby increasing the availability of wind as a renewable energy resource and reducing dependence on foreign and domestic fossil fuels. The ease of use of composite engineered core materials should facilitate rapid market integration.
Small Business Information at Submission:
Webcore Technologies, Inc.
8821 Washington Church Road Miamisburg, OH 45342
Number of Employees: