China: world’s largest wind turbine blades manufactured

Isbel Lázaro.

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palas de turbina eólica

A Chinese company has set a milestone in the wind energy industry by manufacturing the world’s largest onshore wind turbine blades, each 131 meters long.

Soon, these monumental structures, which include a 15 MW turbine and three blades, will be installed in central China, forming turbines with a total diameter of more than 260 meters.

Implications for the use of huge wind turbine blades

The SY1310A onshore wind turbine blade was produced by SANY Renewable Energy at its factory located in Bayannur, northern China. The company pointed out that the increase in blade length implies higher rigidity and strength requirements, in addition to the need for protection against extreme weather events, such as lightning strikes.

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In addition, the company implemented multiple technological innovations in the manufacturing of the blade, including a high-performance airfoil with a thick, blunt trailing edge, an optimized airfoil arrangement and an overall increase in thickness.

Peter Majewski of the University of South Australia points out that one of the advantages of large wind turbines is that fewer units are needed to generate the same amount of power. However, he warns that their high visibility requires social acceptance for the construction of such massive structures.

Majewski also addresses the logistical challenges involved in transporting such large blades and the need for both manufacturers and society to consider what to do with these structures as they age.

The expert has researched the subject of recycling of wind turbine blades and in a 2022 study predicted that by 2050, when existing turbines reach the end of their 20- to 30-year service life, there will be tens of thousands of tons of wind farm blades that could end up in landfills.

However, Majewski welcomes the use of recycled polyurethane in the construction of these new blades.

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