Welcome to the first blog of the European project WALiD (Wind Blade Using Cost Effective Advanced Composite Lightweight Design), which will be a regular feature appearing on the website.
Did you know that windmills have been around since about 2000BC where they were mainly used in Persia and China to grind grain or draw up water?
These days they are more likely to be used for generating electricity.
In today’s climate of increasing costs of construction and price of non-renewable sources it is important that we find alternative cheaper fuels … and wind energy is one source that can meet this challenge. Wind power is one of the cheapest and safest methods of generating renewable electricity and it is expected that the wind turbine market will grow quite substantially over the next few years with wind farm developers looking at larger turbines to reduce costs.
Offshore wind farms are a rapidly growing industry and have huge potential. They have lots of advantages over onshore wind farms – stronger and more consistent winds, equipment can be transported by sea instead of by road and they do not adversely affect the landscape. BUT, there are things that have to be taken into account because of the harsher environmental conditions, corrosive and humid environments and large variations in temperature and high load conditions.
And this is where WALiD can help!
The WALiD project is aiming to improve the design of the root and tip of the blade, replace the shell core with thermoplastic foam materials, improve the design of the shear web and develop a new reinforced thermoplastic coating.
With funding received from the European Union’s Seventh Framework Programme for research, technological development and demonstration, WALiD will replace thermoset based materials with thermoplastic composite materials to produce highly durable blades able to withstand the challenging environmental offshore conditions.
With a consortium of twelve organisations from across Europe, we are hoping to design a blade up to 90 metres … which is the same as a full sized football field, Big Ben, or 10 double decker buses!
Find out more
If you want to find out more about the achievements of WALiD, register for updates on the ‘Contact Page’ of the website. Alternatively, join our LinkedIn Group – “WaLiD – Wind Blade Using Cost Effective Advanced Composite Lightweight Design” or follow us on Twitter @eu_walid.