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New Research Project Explores Intelligent Blades

  • Wednesday, 13th January 2010
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  • Reading time: about 2 minutes

LM Glasfiber has entered into a three-year research project, supported by the Danish National Advanced Technology Foundation, to develop laser-based wind sensory systems, which the partnership hopes will enhance blade efficiency and become an integral part of all future wind turbines.

The project, which is a joint venture with Risø DTU and NKT Photonics, aims to significantly improve the load control of the wind turbine in operation, therefore enhancing the efficiency of the turbine and improving its overall reliability.

“LM Glasfiber is working on several projects to improve the efficiency of the blades and consequently the overall energy production from the wind turbine. An important part of this is developing ‘intelligent’ blades that measure the wind and either adapt to the current wind conditions or supply data to the wind turbine control system,” says Lars Fuglsang, LM Glasfiber Research Director.

The project will look at integrating LIDAR (Light Detection And Ranging) technology, with LM Glasfiber’s existing blade monitoring technology.

By using these combined systems, it is hoped that energy production can be increased by anything up to 5% over the wind turbines 20-year lifespan.

“Whereas current blade monitoring technologies measure the loads on the blades, integrating LIDARs into the blade enables us to measure the exact wind conditions to which the blades are exposed. So basically, this means that instead of looking in the rearview mirror and realizing what the blade has been exposed to, we will be able to measure the wind real-time and either have the blade or the wind turbine react on this right away,” adds Fuglsang.

LM Glasfiber anticipate that a prototype using LIDAR technology will be produced by 2012 and will be in production and available to customers by 2014.


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