Power and renewables

Wind turbine blade erosion to be tackled in new Joint Industry Project

Wind turbine blade erosion

DNV GL launches Joint Industry Project to analyse damage caused to wind turbine blades from the high-speed impacts of foreign objects

OAKLAND, USA - 5 March 2019  DNV GL, the world’s largest independent energy advisory and certification body, has launched a Joint Industry Project with ten commercial partners to develop a COmprehensive methodology for Blade Rain erosion Analysis (COBRA). 

The COBRA Joint Industry Project has been set up to investigate the damage caused to leading edge wind turbine blades from the high-speed impacts of foreign objects, such as raindrops, and identify how best to develop protection systems. Rain erosion damage can be significant on unprotected wind turbine blades. 

While the damage caused doesn’t often impact the structural integrity of a blade, it can influence energy generation over the life of a turbine due to degrading the aerodynamic performance of blades. Therefore, DNV GL has partnered with Vestas, Siemens Gamesa Renewable Energy, LM Wind Power, Ørsted, Mankeweicz, Akzonobel, Aerox-CEU, Polytech, Hempel and PPG, to take up the challenge of analysing the effect that rain erosion damage can have on the blades of operating wind turbines. 

The outcome of the Joint Industry Project will be a Recommended Practice for designing a protection system against rain erosion which will be published by July 2020. The cross-industry working group aims to address the following technical topics:

  • Identify and define relevant material properties for a protection system
  • Develop and methodology to handle and derive design loads from rain data
  • Develop a model to conduct raindrop impact analysis
  • Develop a design methodology for leading edge protection systems

Steffen Laustsen, Head of Blade Materials, Offshore Technology at Siemens Gamesa Renewable Energy commented: “With the trend of building larger machines continuing, greater research is required to provide more protection for wind turbine blades against rain erosion. The high blade tip velocities associated with large blades makes the impact of rain especially demanding. We look forward to collaborating with the Joint Industry Project partners across all industries to improve the quality and durability of future blade designs.”

Rich Barnes, Executive Vice President Americas at DNV GL said: “Increasing the performance of wind turbines and blades is crucial for the transition to a cleaner energy system. Erosion of blades is affecting the global wind industry. There is currently a lack of methods and design protection systems to prevent blade erosion, so it is vital to identify solutions and develop tools to tackle erosion problems. The COBRA Joint Industry Project will address these challenges and share knowledge to advance the understanding within the wind energy industry.”

Interested parties can still join the Joint Industry Project subject to approval by the Steering Committee. 

Please contact Amilcar Quispitupa Yupa via Amilcar.Quispitupa@dnvgl.com.

About DNV GL
DNV GL is a global quality assurance and risk management company. Driven by our purpose of safeguarding life, property and the environment, we enable our customers to advance the safety and sustainability of their business. We provide classification, technical assurance, software and independent expert advisory services to the maritime, oil & gas, power and renewables industries. We also provide certification and supply chain services to customers across a wide range of industries. Operating in more than 100 countries, our experts are dedicated to helping customers make the world safer, smarter and greener.

DNV GL in the power and renewables industry
DNV GL delivers world-renowned testing and advisory services to the energy value chain including renewables and energy management. Our expertise spans onshore and offshore wind power, solar, conventional generation, transmission and distribution, smart grids, and sustainable energy use, as well as energy markets and regulations. Our experts support customers around the globe in delivering a safe, reliable, efficient, and sustainable energy supply.

Learn more at www.dnvgl.com/energy.

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