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Wind Industry Profile of

Europe: Combatting offshore rain erosion

Blades offshore need to withstand rain, wind and whatever weather conditions come their way. Recently, three of our colleagues experienced some of those elements firsthand, when they boarded a boat in Denmark to film a new video as part of the Windtrust project.

Windtrust is a project funded by the European Union, which aims to reduce the cost of wind energy generation by further improving the reliability of key turbine components. LM Wind Power participates in a consortium of nine partners from six European Union member countries (Belgium, Denmark, Germany, Greece, Spain and the United Kingdom).

The project’s new video features LM Wind Power’s solution for erosion protection on offshore wind turbines. To provide their expert opinion on the subject, Jens Ulrich Laursen, Project Manager Composites Technology Projects, and Michael Drachmann Haag, Surfaces Lead Engineer, and Lene Mi Ran Kristiansen, Senior Manager Communications & Sustainability, joined the Windtrust crew onboard a boat at Middelgrunden wind farm off the coast of Copenhagen. Installed in 2001, LM 36.8 meter blades power 20 2MW turbines at Middelgrunden, which was for years the world’s largest offshore wind farm.

Learn how our engineers are overcoming the harsh offshore environment, with a protective coating to lower downtime and maintenance costs.

Leading edge erosion: an industry-wide challenge

During operation a blade’s leading edge is exposed to wear and tear over time, which results in blade material surface deterioration and increased surface roughness — and thus reduced Annual Energy Production (AEP). This leading edge surface erosion increases dramatically with increased rotor speed. Additionally, certain wind turbine environmental conditions — such as rain, hail and particle impacts — can cause leading edge erosion if the blade is unprotected.

Many companies are trying to find a solution to this leading edge erosion challenge. Not only does our protection solution exceed the industry standards — we are also working to set those standards for the industry, with the ultimate goal of reducing the cost of energy.  LM Wind Power’s leading edge protection is currently implemented on some of our blades, though it is not yet standard on all blades.

LM Wind Power

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