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Long Fibres Improve Performance of Small-Scale Wind Turbine Blades

06 July 2010

When China-based Hunan ZKenergy Wind Power Industrial Technology wanted to offer a reliable source for providing electricity to remote areas around the world, it adapted the technology of wind turbines to produce affordable, small-scale units suitable for off-grid locations.

One factor in their success is very long glass fibre reinforced thermoplastic composite from custom compounder RTP Company that is used to injection mould the blades. The compound was chosen over other reinforced plastics due to the enhanced mechanical properties very long fibre composites provide.

""We worked with RTP Company to develop a suitable very long fibre product because it provided the highest strength-to-weight ratio we could find in an injection mouldable material,"" said Danping Xie, Vice President of Design at Hunan ZKenergy. ""The long glass fibre reinforcement provided high modulus and impact resistance that keeps the configuration of our blades constant, regardless of environmental conditions. Exceptional dimensional stability is critical for keeping the blades from changing their angle against incoming wind and greatly increases the efficiency of our turbines, especially in very humid or very dry conditions."" ""When our turbines are in operation, RTP Company's compound has been able to dampen vibrations within the blade, effectively reducing audible noise,"" added Xie. ""Our turbine blades are now able to outlast the life of the mechanical components of the turbine itself,"" he added.






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