Blade Dynamics 78m offshore wind turbine blade to be tested at ORE Catapult in Blyth

Published 11 August 2015

One of the most innovative offshore wind turbine rotor blades in the world has arrived today at the Offshore Renewable Energy Catapult’s test, demonstration and research centre in Blyth, Northumberland, ahead of a planned six month testing programme.

UK-based Blade Dynamics’ prototype ‘D78’ blade has been designed and manufactured in both the UK and USA and made its way, from the NASA Michoud Assembly Facility in New Orleans,  to the UK for commissioning and testing. Its modular assembly design is unique, enabling larger, more effective turbines with reduced weight and higher performance. The final stages of the manufacturing process can be completed close to the installation or deployment site, allowing manufacturing to be distributed around the country and providing a route for the future export of blade components from the UK.

The only offshore assembly blade in the world will undertake approximately six months of testing at the Catapult’s world leading facilities in Blyth.

Pepe Carnevale, CEO of Blade Dynamics, said:

“ORE Catapult’s National Renewable Energy Centre has world-class facilities and is Blade Dynamics’ partner of choice for full-scale blade structural testing.

“This high performance 78m modular assembly blade will undergo static and dynamic testing here in the coming months.  Independent verification that the technology is reliable is an important step in the progression towards serial installation. We are also actively exploring demonstration opportunities for our 78m blades.

“Making these steps, with assistance from ORE Catapult, is key for Blade Dynamics.  It will drive the introduction of this technology to the market and support all the sustainable job creation, export led economic growth and reduction in the cost of offshore wind energy that the technology can deliver.

“This incredible 78m blade has only been possible with the tremendous support of the ETI, who’s commitment and vision is accelerating this game changing innovation into UK offshore wind and the UK economy.  The company would also like to take this opportunity to thank everyone else within the UK wind sector including DECC, TSB, The Carbon Trust, the Catapult network and others who continue to make the UK a great environment for innovation in offshore wind.”

Tony Quinn, ORE Catapult’s Operations Director, said:

“This is the longest blade, and certainly the most innovative in terms of design, that we have ever tested at our facility in Blyth. Our range of test methods help to reduce risk in new blade designs and generate confidence in their performance.

“Here at the Catapult, we work collaboratively with innovators such as Blade Dynamics to help develop their ideas into market ready technologies, and tackle some of the industry’s major technology challenges to drive down the cost of offshore renewable energy.”

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