Covestro recently announced that it is serving as a key raw materials partner in a consortium managed by the Technical University of Denmark that is currently carrying out a research project called DURALEDGE (from durable leading edges) to investigate erosion mechanisms and develop new coatings to permanently protect rotor blades. In addition, the consortium aims to develop calculation models to predict edge protection. Leading global manufacturers of wind energy systems and coatings are reportedly members of the consortium.
One goal in developing future rotor blades is to increase the peak speed at the ends of the blades. The aim is an increase to over 90 m per second to improve the performance of wind energy systems. This also lowers electricity generation costs for converting wind energy into electrical energy.
The wind energy industry reportedly dreams of developing maintenance-free systems. One important hurdle on the path to achieving this goal is the fact that the longitudinal edges of rotor blades are subject to the effects of weather: when it is raining and the blades are turning quickly, raindrops hit the edges of the blades at high speed and with a large amount of energy. Over time, this destroys the coating layer and the composite material beneath. This edge erosion can reduce annual energy performance by more than 5%. In addition, the systems have to be serviced more frequently.
The DURALEDGE project started on November 1, 2018, and had a term of three years. It is being funded with 11.7 million Danish Krones (approximately $1.7 million) from the Danish Innovation Fund. Details regarding the project can be found at http://www.duraledge.dk.
For more information, visit www.covestro.com.