The Offshore Renewable Energy (ORE) Catapult is asking offshore wind industry leaders to join a £1 million project aimed at tackling turbine blade leading edge erosion, one of the key operations and maintenance challenges facing the offshore wind sector.
The innovation and research body is inviting expressions of interest from industry to be involved in the 18 month collaborative project consisting of six work packages:
ORE Catapult will lead the project and will draw on specialists from academia and industry to ensure that it benefits from the leading expertise in the field.
Blade leading edge erosion is a problem both on and offshore, but the erosion seems to be accelerated offshore due to harsher environmental conditions. Erosion affects the aerodynamic performance of the blade, which leads to reduced turbine efficiency, reliability and availability, as well as increased operations and maintenance activity with repairs in situ being difficult and expensive. All this proves costly for offshore wind farm owner/operators through lost power generation and revenue.
Andrew Macdonald, Senior Innovation Manager for ORE Catapult, said:
“This joint industry project aims to drive down risks and costs through improved decision making on blade repair, improved leading edge protection and repair solutions and, ultimately, improved yield from less eroded blades. The programme will support the development of standards for erosion testing and the establishment of test facilities for the research and development of advanced leading edge protection solutions.”