WALiD To Attend International Workshop in Barcelona

WALiD will be presented at “The Wind Energy Sector – A European Challenge” workshop on 21st and 22nd November 2016.

The workshop has been organised by the Thermal Spray Centre at the University of Barcelona in conjunction with two European projects – Riblet and Hydrobond and will bring together 11 EU funded projects related to the wind industry.

Project members will present their results and discuss any problems and solutions that have arisen.  This workshop will bring Industry and science together, enable industrial partners to meet scientific partners to present capabilities in each segment, promote interaction between industry expert speakers to gain a better understanding of challenges and concepts and provide an avenue for finding new partners for new projects and an opportunity to network.



Plans afoot to attend Offshore Energy Exhibition and Conference 2016

OEE logo

A stand has now been booked for this two day event which takes place on 25th and 26th October at Amsterdam RAI, The Netherlands and arrangements are also under way regarding the delivery of a presentation as part of the conference programme.

The stand will showcase various demonstrators and project videos and a variety of literature will be on display.

Watch this space for more news in the upcoming months!

Challenges in Development of Thermoplastic Rotorblades

FR blogThe WALiD project faces several challenges which will need to be solved if a new holistic concept for wind turbine blades is to be realised.

Partners need to combine material, process and design novelties which have to be well matched and they are able to meet these challenges by being part of a multidisciplinary team using a well balanced approach.

The new technologies, such as automated fibre placement with thermoplastic tapes are supported by simulation models and new design geometries for blades.  Furthermore, different technology combinations for the manufacturing of sandwich materials are currently being investigated and in parallel to this new demonstrator geometries and samples are being studied.



CoSi 2016 – Call for Papers

The 12th Coatings Science International Conference which will be held from 27th June to 1st July 2016 in The Netherlands has announced its ‘Call for Papers’.  Abstracts need to be submitted by 16th December 2015 and further details can be found on www.coatings-science.com.



Visit Wind Energy Forum at Composites Europe

Composites Europe 2015Composites Europe which takes place this year in Stuttgart on 22nd to 24th September is holding a Wind Energy Forum.

This forum which includes a networking reception and guided tour will be held on Thursday 24th September.

Various presentations will be given such as “Challenges in design, production and logistics of a very large rotor blade”, “Potentials and limits for composites in rotor blades” and “How to bridge advanced blade design with reliable production processes of XXL blades”.

To find out more about the WALiD project, visit Coriolis Composites at their stand number D02 in Hall 5.


UK Offshore Wind Farm to Power 400,000 Homes

8983429_xxlA new offshore wind power plant is due to be completed by the beginning of 2018.  Headed up by Dong Energy, the market leader in offshore wind, a total of 91 turbines, supplied by Siemens, will be installed in the Spring of 2017.

The Race Bank plant which will be located 16.8 miles off the North Norfolk coasts and 17.4 miles off the Lincolnshire coast will cover an area of 29 square miles.

It is anticipated that this development will lead to investments in the area as local suppliers are invited to tender for services and components.  In addition, it will play its part in helping to drive down the cost of electricity produced by offshore wind farms.


LCA: A Step by Step Process

Normally LCA is performed in iterations: in the first round a simplified approach is used focusing only on the most important processes and resulting in a basic model. Then the following iterations gradually create a more advanced system that is closer to reality. This is illustrated in the life cycle assessment framework figure as defined by the standard.

The four phases of a Life Cycle Assessment as defined by ISO 14040:

The LCA includes four phases, starting with defining the goal and scope. This phase is followed by inventory analysis and impact assessment. Interpretation is the final step in the process.

The goal is to understand where the environmental impact arises, especially for these impact categories: climate change, mineral resource depletion and human toxicity.

For WALiD, the functional unit is similar to any power generation plant and the system boundaries allow us to target our analysis on the wind blade.
1 kWh delivered to the grid with an operational lifetime of 25 years.

System boundaries for the WALiD LCA:


Like the rest of the process, the scope definition can be subject to updates in line with the evolving technical implications of the outcomes of the research and development activities of the project.

WALiD LC’s current phase: Inventory analysis

A first basic model was presented to the partners with early data and will be improved on in the coming months. The goal and scope definitions were reviewed and confirmed so the next stage is to develop the inventory analysis.

The inventory analysis means creating an inventory of flows to and from nature within a product system. This is currently underway and will allow us to obtain a complete map of all the inputs and outputs of a WALiD wind blade.

Scotland Leads the Way

Scotland has 25% of Europe’s total wind capacity and is currently generating sufficient energy to meet almost half of the country’s annual electricity demands.


Recent statistics show that Scotland has met almost half of its renewable energy target a year ahead of schedule.  Add this to the fact that offshore wind projects in Scotland have led to over 164 million pounds worth of investment in the Scottish economy and the future looks set for the UK to continue to be the largest installer of offshore wind.

There is also the potential for thousands of new jobs to be created due to the number of projects which have obtained planning permission.  One such project is Neart na Gaoithe, a wind farm in the Firth of Forth, which has been awarded a contract to sell the power it will generate in the Department of Energy and Climate Change’s first ever green power auction. The Scottish government is also actively encouraging foreign companies to bring their expertise to the country whilst looking for opportunities for their own companies to branch into offshore wind.

International companies involved in turbine manufacture such as Samsung, Gamesa and Areva have made their interest clear in Scotland as a global hub for offshore wind by announcing investment opportunities and Vattenfall, SSE, Iberdrola, EDPR and Respol have established offshore offices there. Other developments include the new UK Offshore Renewable Energy Catapult Centre in Glasgow and the UK’s Green Investment Bank in Edinburgh which all help to reinforce Scotland’s international reputation for research, development, design and engineering of offshore renewables and a range of enabling technologies.

To ensure that Scotland captures the biggest sustainable economic growth opportunity for a generation it is essential to maintain the momentum of its offshore wind sector.  This sector will provide Scotland with the opportunity to not only develop new industries but also to meet its renewable energy and carbon reduction targets.

Number of offshore wind farms looks set to rise over next few years!

image for Apr blogOne contributing factor to the development of these wind farms is the rise in supply tariffs in a number of countries which promotes investment into this sector.  This will lead to the development of larger turbines which will maximise cost effectiveness and energy efficiencies.

According to a market research report, ‘Global Wind Turbine Rotor Blade Market by Testing, Material, Blade Size, Regulations & Outlook (2011-2016) published by ‘marketsandmarkets’, the global wind turbine rotor blade market is expected to almost double between 2011 and 2016 from an estimated €5.7 billion to €10.9 billion.

In particular, larger blades will be commonplace as the industry looks to reduce costs and increase energy output.  This anticipated increase in blade length will drive the need for additional testing facilities to check for reliability during the blade’s lifecycle.

Add to this the growing acceptance of offshore wind farms as people become aware of their benefits such as improving efficiency, minimising material requirements, recyclability and helping to reduce energy dependency on fossil fuels and the outlook for wind energy looks good.

Life Cycle Analysis in WALiD

Part of the work for WALiD requires an assessment of the LCA impact of the new technologies being developed within the project, but why are we doing LCA?

LCA is a tool that captures and measures the impact that a product has on the environment. It is able to set up limits, make comparisons, identify hot-spots, or just better understand the impacts on our surrounding natural world.

The life-cycle viewpoint means that we are looking into the whole life of the product: from raw material extraction, through production and usage, up to recycling or disposal – i.e. from cradle to grave. This helps us understand our supply chain and how a change to one part can have a knock on effect.  It also provides assurance that by reducing the environmental impact on one stage of the life cycle it does not lead to increased environmental impact elsewhere.

Blade Life CycleWALiD blade life cycle

Within a research project, this translates as a tool that can be used to help decision-making in the development stage by comparing different solutions which are otherwise difficult to differentiate. This can also be used to highlight the benefits of the new product compared to existing state of the art and more generally speaking can also be a great communication tool if used correctly!