After five years of research, scientists from a joint European Union (EU) project, led by the Riso National Laboratory for Sustainable Energy (Riso DTU), are prepared to present the first design basis for developing 20 MW wind turbines.
The UpWind project began five years ago with more than 120 wind scientists' efforts and a budget of 23 million euros in an effort to determine whether it was possible to build a 20 MW wind turbine using current methods and materials.
The researchers focused on the main components in wind turbines to determine whether it was technically possible and economically feasible to build a 20 MW wind turbine.
‘The overall conclusion we can draw from the UpWind project is that if you built a 20 MW wind turbine based on existing technologies and methods, it will be 15 [percent] to 20 percent more expensive than today's wind turbines,’ says Peter Hjuler Jensen, head of the UpWind project at Riso DTU.
Riso DTU and DTU Mechanical Engineering studied aeroelastic methods, materials, management and regulation, and many other technologies for designing a 20 MW wind turbine.
In addition, Riso DTU has contributed to UpWind through the development of smart rotor blades with trailing edge regulation, meaning the trailing edge of the blade can move up and down like the flaps of an airplane.