Tuesday, April 06, 2010

Wind Power Problems

Not unlike the “good” problem of having more orders than manufacturing capacity, the wind energy industry is also facing a similar issue: not having the appropriate size equipment for testing new blades. ”Composites Technology” has an article reporting on the difficulties of completing the needed testing – not because of a total lack of facilities, but because the rotor blades are now becoming so large that they are outgrowing the maximum size limits for the test equipment.

Again, this is not necessarily a bad problem as it shows strong support for the growing industry. The technology is being developed to manufacture these large blades, which in some cases are as long at 80 meters. The rotor blades are deflected repeatedly to simulate the service life (not unlike the testing that airplane wings need to undergo). New facilities are being built around the world, and it is the engineering needed is understood – no breakthroughs are required.

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