LM Wind Power is leading a four-year research project to develop turbine blades with flexible tip lengths – a technology concept the company says has the potential to reduce the cost of energy by 8%-10%.
Supported by the Dutch Ministry of Economic Affairs, the project brings together a consortium of partners that includes the Dutch University of Twente and the Energy Research Centre of the Netherlands. The project aims to optimize individual wind turbines to their maximum performance by extending the rotor diameter with variable tip lengths.
"The cost of wind power, especially offshore wind power, needs to go down to compete with other energy sources, and we are committed to making that happen," says Roel W. Schuring, LM Wind Power's vice president of engineering. "This project with our Dutch partners aims to help wind farm developers and wind turbine manufacturers to design wind farms better and to get the most from each turbine. This will improve annual energy production and reduce cost of energy. The potential is huge."
LM expects the flexible tips to be manufactured separately and assembly to be done on or near site. The new rotor blade will also be a universal solution that can be adapted to various turbines and applied in every wind farm, LM adds.