Two Chinese companies and Covestro have jointly developed the world’s first full polyurethane 64.2-meter-long wind turbine blade. From the spar cap to the shear web and the shell, the blade is made entirely of polyurethane infusion resin.
Chinese wind turbine manufacturer Goldwind, and leading wind blade manufacturer and composites expert LZ Blades worked closely with Covestro on what the companies say
Is the beginning of a new generation of longer and stronger blades for the wind power industry.
Extensive static and dynamic fatigue tests are being carried out to evaluate the durability of the wind turbine blade before small-scale production commences in 2020. The initial results point to decreased costs and increased benefits for wind power enterprises.
Among other things, the polyurethane resin displays better mechanical properties compared with traditional epoxy resin. Also, the polyurethane resin system requires no post-curing, has a lower viscosity and faster infusion speed, leading to a more efficient blade production, and ultimately a more cost-competitive blade than when using epoxy resin.
In addition, Goldwind optimised the structural design of the blade, ensuring the smooth production of the blade.
"Polyurethane is a very cost-effective material, and can thus provide great support for wind power enterprises when wind power prices will reach parity with thermal power after 2020,” said Birong Wen, head of Goldwind’s wind blade development team.