Funded projects and why they matter

    They bring the opportunity to work with institutions and partners across the value chain that we wouldn’t normally collaborate with. They often deliver new knowledge or innovation that significantly improves the business-case for wind. We are talking about large scale, funded research projects. Test & Validation Director, John Korsgaard, shares why LM Wind Power has been part of these funded projects over the years and the difference they’ve made.

    How can carbon and glass fiber be combined to result in a cost-effective, strong and lightweight material, which lowers the weight and static moment of our blades? What is the optimal tip design and how can we change tip length of a base blade to improve the Annual Energy Production (AEP) of a wind turbine at different sites? How can we prevent leading edge erosion of our blades to avoid loss in AEP and increased maintenance costs?

    These are just some of the questions LM Wind Power has explored over the years in large multi-stakeholder projects like Blade King, InnoTip, HYLLER, iRotor or WINDTRUST that ensured subsidy for development work and significant lessons learned.

    Although the projects require quite some time and effort, Test & Validation Center Director, John Korsgaard, is convinced the investment put into funded projects has significant payback. Here, he shares some of the facts and experiences from many years of engagement in funded research projects and the significance they’ve had for the development of blade technology in LM Wind Power.

    “The effort required should not be underestimated, but it really is worth it. We benefit, among other things, from the process of pursuing new ideas with others, validating various methods of testing and getting in touch with new talents,” John explained. He currently oversees the spending of money and collection of subsidy in several funded projects in a Danish, Dutch and European context, as the owner of the Engineering Funded Program.

    “We are frequently encouraged to take part in projects and we also initiate collaborations ourselves. In the case of WINDTRUST for example, which was recently closed down after a successful four year term, 10-12 colleagues took part, two of which were full time. The benefits of this particular project were very specific. We managed to develop our leading edge protection system and serrations, which are add-ons to be applied on the trailing edge of the outer part of a blade in order to reduce the aero-acoustic noise generation by the blade during operation of the wind turbine. Both technologies are now offered to our customers, John said and continued:

    “One of the reasons for joining the WINDTRUST-collaboration was that Gamesa - one of our larger customers - was a main contributor. The project allowed us to work even more closely with them, taking testing out into the field and creating hands-on experiences with the benefit of applying recent findings and new ideas from university researchers.” 

    Jens Ulrich Laursen, Project Manager, Composites Technology Projects, oversaw our overall WINDTRUST participation and was the lead on one of the work packages within the project. He even had his debut as a film star during the project too! 

    Funded projects all have a specific requirement to disseminate project results to ensure knowledge is shared and communicated to the wider public. For WINDTRUST there was a dedicated communications agency that facilitated videos, brochures and events. One of the videos was shot in the biting cold off the coast of Copenhagen. See what came out of it and a peak behind the scenes.

    Explore some of the large funded innovation projects and joint research we engage, in with different partners. 

    WINDTRUST quick facts 

    LM Wind Power led two initiatives in the context of WINDTRUST, which respectively sought to reduce noise from the turbine, and prevent erosion of blade tips with relevant materials, fitting and adhesives.

    The WINDTRUST project validated the benefits of ProBlade - a protective coating for the leading edge of blades that increases the erosion resistance performance by 54 times compared to blades treated with traditional gel coating. This translates into a decrease in the Levelized Cost of Energy (LCoE) by a little more than three percent through higher AEP and lower maintenance cost over the lifetime of a wind turbine. The erosion resistance performance was measured in LM Wind Power’s state of the art rain erosion test center.

    Another successful outcome of the program was the testing of light weight trailing edge mounted serration. The WINDTRUST test results showed that rightly placed serrations lead to even better noise reduction than expected.

    These developments contributed significantly to the overall objective of the WINDTRUST project to demonstrate the impact of improved reliability design on the LCoE for large wind turbines. The work was part of a much wider program focusing on other components of the turbine as well.

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