Materials challenges in present and future wind energy

B. Hayman, J. Wedel-Heinen, Povl Brøndsted

    Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review


    The main concept currently in use in wind energy involves horizontal-axis wind turbines with blades of fiber composite materials. This turbine concept is expected to remain as the major provider of wind power in the foreseeable future. However, turbine sizes are increasing, and installation offshore means that wind turbines will be exposed to more demanding environmental conditions. Many challenges are posed by the use of fiber composites in increasingly large blades and increasingly hostile environments. Among these are achieving adequate stiffness to prevent excessive blade deflection, preventing buckling failure, ensuring adequate fatigue life under variable wind loading combined with gravitational loading, and minimizing the occurrence and consequences of production defects. A major challenge is to develop cost-effective ways to ensure that production defects do not cause unacceptable reductions in equipment strength and lifetime, given that inspection of large wind power structures is often problematic.
    Original languageEnglish
    JournalMRS Bulletin
    Issue number4
    Pages (from-to)343-353
    Publication statusPublished - 2008

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