18 May 2011 12:05:03
ETI launches project to create large wind turbine blades
The Energy Technologies Institute (ETI) has launched a project to create longer blades for the next generation of offshore wind turbines with a generating capacity of 8-10MW.
Applications are being sought from developers to design and test turbine blades longer than 90 metres to bring about advancements in wind energy which would drive down costs.
Currently, the turbines deployed offshore have been designed for onshore use, then simply adapted to withstand the environment out at sea.
Dr David Clarke, ETI chief executive, said previous studies have suggested the "most cost-effective" horizontal axis turbine design would have a capacity of 8-10 MW, however, they would require larger blades than if current turbine designs were simply scaled up.
"Creating very long blades with the right stiffness and aerodynamic performance whilst maintaining an acceptable cost is going to be a huge challenge for the industry and is going to need the best design and manufacturing team we can assemble," he added.
Energy and climate change secretary Chris Huhne has also given his backing to the £10 million project. The deadline for notifying the ETI of the intention to submit a proposal is June 17th and all applications must be received by July 27th.