Shanghai Electric Innovates Wind Turbine Blade Design for Harsh Environments

By Editor


Shanghai Electric Wind Power Group, a subsidiary of Shanghai Electric, has unveiled a groundbreaking approach to assessing the impact of roughness on wind turbine blades in challenging environments, both offshore and onshore.

The initiative, spearheaded by Senior Blade Design Expert Koji Fukami, was presented at the 5th International Symposium on Leading Edge Erosion of Wind Turbine Blades, held at the Technical University of Denmark.

At the event, held recently, Koji Fukami showcased a collaborative study conducted with the European Innovation Center in Roskilde, Denmark, which celebrated its fifth anniversary under Shanghai Electric’s umbrella.

“Bridge between academia and the wind energy industry is crucial for practical, time-efficient, and cost-effective blade design optimization, particularly in harsh conditions,” stated Koji Fukami, emphasizing the necessity for innovative approaches in wind turbine blade design.

The integrity of wind turbine blades is paramount to the efficiency of wind power generation, with erosion, especially from wind force, posing a persistent challenge. Rain erosion, in particular, has been identified as a major contributor to damage, particularly to the leading edges of blades.

Operating at tip speeds exceeding 90m/s, megawatt-class blades face raindrops with force comparable to bullets, resulting in substantial tearing forces over time. This repetitive impact leads to fatigue processes, compromising the protective structure of the blades.

Addressing the influence of severe environmental conditions is crucial in blade design to ensure robust performance. The novel approach presented by Shanghai Electric enables precise simulation for blade design while significantly reducing computational demands, thus expediting the design process and making it more cost-effective.

This advanced modeling method, drawing on concepts from unsteady aerodynamics, optimizes airfoil designs by simulating real operational conditions. The alignment between simulation data and experimental results from the University of Illinois underscores the efficacy of this approach.

Looking ahead, the European Innovation Center is set to embark on a new collaboration with the Technical University of Denmark in November. This collaboration will focus on wind tunnel experiments to evaluate the performance of new airfoil designs and simulation methods.

Established in March 2019, the Center has leveraged Denmark’s expertise in the wind energy sector to attract top engineering talent, positioning itself as a hub for innovation in wind turbine technology and application know-how.

Latest News