World’s longest wind turbine blade unveiled in China

Image: Sany RE

Chinese wind turbine manufacturer Sany Renewable Energy has unveiled the world’s longest onshore wind turbine blade, a 131-metre behemoth to be used on the company’s 15MW turbines.

To adapt to increasingly large wind turbine rotors and ever taller turbines, similarly long turbine blades are necessary. However, as size increases, so too do the risks of damage.

Sany Renewable Energy has therefore developed a range of new manufacturing techniques and technologies for its new Sany Heavy Energy SY1310A wind turbine blades. These include a design with a new and thicker airfoil with a blunt trailing edge, which the company says optimises the airfoil arrangement and increases the overall absolute thickness of the blade.

Image: Sany RE

To support this design, new technologies were required, such as independent fiberglass sleeve-cutting and pre-quilting design, long-distance online infusion technology for large-size composite blades, and a three-dimensional design technology for trailing edge pads.

Additionally, recycled polyurethane is used to help improve the overall recyclability of the blades when their lifespan is up.

Sany has also developed customised lightning protection for the all-carbon main beam and full metal mesh protection to ensure the reliability of the blades in lightning-prone areas.

Image: Sany

The blades will now undergo three-point bending tests, trailing edge buckling tests, flapping fatigue tests, and other component and full-size tests to ensure complete reliability.

Set to be paired with Sany Heavy Energy’s 15MW onshore wind turbine – which the company debuted during the 2023 Beijing International Wind Energy Exhibition – the turbines will likely be destined for use in China’s interior.

Joshua S. Hill is a Melbourne-based journalist who has been writing about climate change, clean technology, and electric vehicles for over 15 years. He has been reporting on electric vehicles and clean technologies for Renew Economy and The Driven since 2012. His preferred mode of transport is his feet.

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