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Multi-hybrid materials will improve performance of wind turbine blades and tidal power generators

20 April 2021
A new generation of light, high-strength, multifunctional and sensorized multi-materials is being born, which will contribute to improve the performance of offshore wind turbine rotor blades and tidal power generators. This work is taking place within the scope of CARBO4POWER, a new European project in collaboration with INEGI.

The goal is set: to reduce the cost of offshore energy production by approximately 40% of the current value. To this end, the project consortium intends to provide the industry with material solutions with optimized cost and greater durability, and intelligent preventive maintenance systems.

As Marta Martins, responsible for the project at the Institute, says, it aims to determine "the ideal combination of materials, manufacturing processes and connection technologies to increase the durability of these structures and reduce costs”.

At the same time, she adds, "it also contemplates the creation of systems for monitoring structural integrity in real time, to facilitate the diagnosis and detection of various types of damage and thus extend the life cycle of the blades".

Use of composites will reduce operating costs and environmental impact

INEGI's contribution will focus on the development and characterization of semi-products and composite materials. Through the use of a "multi-material design concept, combining nanomaterials, different reinforcement fibers and new dynamic and thermoplastic thermosetting matrices, we intend to reinforce the structural components in order to minimize the occurrence of damage and guarantee the safe operation of the blades, under conditions of high loads”, explains Marta Martins.

These solutions will also contribute to reduce the environmental impact of this activity, since composites have a high potential for repair, reuse and recycling.

The production of offshore energy poses several challenges, which have been addressed at European level with the participation of INEGI. New materials and technologies support an increase in renewable energy production, replacing fossil energies, and helping to achieve the targets set by the European Union regarding carbon emissions.

The "CARBO4POWER - New generation of offshore turbine blades with intelligent architectures of hybrid, nano-enabled multimaterials via advanced manufacturing" project is co-financed under Horizon 2020, the European Union's research and innovation program.

Photo: © ORE Catapult

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