Danish blade manufacturer LM Wind Power on 21 June 2016 announced it had developed the world's longest turbine blade with a length of 88.4 meters.
It should be noted that this is not the first record for LM. Founded in 1940, the company is the world's largest independent supplier of blades for wind turbines. Approximately one in five wind turbines installed worldwide has LM Wind Power blades. The company has a history of breaking size records of blades with the LM 61.5 P as the world's first blade exceeding 60 meters in 2004, followed by the record-breaking LM 73.5 P in 2011. By improving its technology, the company produces impressive and more marketable products and occupies the first place in the segment.
The new blade is specifically designed for offshore wind turbine manufacturer Adwen's wind turbine model AD 8-180, with eight megawatts (MW) nominal capacity and 180-meter rotor diameter. The first of these massive blades has just been manufactured for a pilot plant and will shortly undergo testing.
The manufacturer already today claims the future construction will have excellent design characteristics. According to the engineering data, the length of 88.4 meters is the best compromise between swept area (the area of the circle created by the blades as they sweep through the air) and hence the total weight of the entire rotating part of the plant, and the ability to transmit a maximum load on the generator.
“This combination of the key characteristics of wind turbines allows for the most efficient generation of electricity, thereby reducing its cost and increasing the competitiveness of wind energy among the other energy sources,” LM Wind Power said in a statement.
“The new blade is an extraordinary example of industrialized innovation at record breaking scale,” adds Marc de Jong, LM Wind Power’s CEO.
“When you are building the largest wind turbine in the world, almost everything you do is an unprecedented challenge,” says Luis Álvarez, Adwen General Manager. “We are going where no one else has ever gone before, pushing all the known frontiers in the industry. Having developed and integrated together with LM Wind Power the first unit of the longest blade ever and being able to start testing is a key step forward in the development of our AD 8-180 and proves that Adwen is at the forefront of the industry.”