ACT Blade Develops Ultralight Wind Turbine Blades

July 06 2020

‘Game-changing’ technology adapted from the sailing industry has been used to develop an ultralight offshore wind turbine blade capable of producing more energy than conventional designs.

The novel lightweight composite blade structure, which is wrapped in a high-tech engineered sail-like textile shell, has been developed by UK yacht-sail developer spin off ACT Blade. It is up to a third lighter than typical fiberglass blade designs can be made longer to generate more energy and, ultimately, has the potential to make offshore wind - already one of the cheapest major energy sources in the UK - even easier and cheaper to harness.

The first prototype produced under the Innovate UK-funded project was manufactured and tested in collaboration with a consortium of northern research partners that includes the University of Sheffield Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre (AMRC), the Lightweight Manufacturing Research Centre, sister center to the University of Strathclyde’s Advanced Forming Research Centre (AFRC), both part of the National Manufacturing Institute Scotland, and the Offshore Renewable Energy (ORE) Catapult.

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