The wind energy market has experienced an exponential growth in the last few decades, with thousands of wind turbines having been installed every year worldwide. Predictions indicate that the trend will go on for many more years, keeping wind energy at the forefront of renewable energy generate on worldwide and helping the world to have safe, reliable, sustainable and cheap energy.
Wind turbines generators are designed to withstand a class-specific loads. Under certain circumstances, there is a margin between the site-specific loads, where the wind turbine is installed, and the designed class loads. This gap allows the possibility to increase the wind turbine production, staying inside the certification loads. One of the techniques to increase the Annual Energy Production (AEP) of a wind turbine is to increase the rotor diameter (re-blading) to harvest more energy. This strategy, while useful to increase AEP of wind farms, is made by replacing the existing blades with longer ones. The re-blading solution has some drawbacks that include the cost, the management of the old blades to be dismantled, the huge amount of civil works needed, and last but not least, the increase in tons of composite materials to be used. During the last few years, Enel Green Power has been active in analyzing different options for wind blade extension.
Enel Green Power is looking for a partner that could apply a solution for the extension of the length of the installed blades, by attaching a longer piece of blade to the actual tip, or other types of solutions that could help increase the rotor diameter and consequently the AEP.
Submissions should address the following Solution Requirements:
- Tip extender bonded/connected to the original blade, without replacing it;
- Extension ≥ 1 meter;
- Technology readiness level (TRL) ≥ 6;
- Ready to be installed in 6 months;
- Cost ≤ 200k€ per wind turbine;
- Wind turbine generator (WTG) capacity ≥ 600 kW.
Moreover, the solution should:
- Be applicable worldwide, where EGP is present (https://www.enelgreenpower.com/countries);
- Be characterized by an installation time lower than 1 week/WTG;
- Provide the installation of the tip extender without dismounting the blades;
- Have a statement of conformity released by a certification body (like DNV, UL, SGS, etc.);
- Be already patented.
The submitted proposal should contain two parts:
1. Collaboration Proposal including:
a. Detailed description of the proposed solution, including (but not limited to):
- Adopted method and/or technique for blade tip extension, with indication of installation duration;
- Advantages and weaknesses of the proposed solution;
- Details on the materials used in the process, with evidence of circular and/or sustainable solutions;
- Projected maintenance costs, if any;
- Mechanical load analysis of the wind turbine where blade tip extension is installed;
- List of the WTG controller modifications, if any;
- List of WTG models to which the solution can be applied;
- Economic analysis with cost indications for the supply of the solution and evidence of the calculation of Annual Energy Production increase;
b. Evidence of experience of wind blades tip extension, if any, including prototypes, etc.;
c. Data, case studies, patent and journal references or any additional material that supports the proposed solution.
2. General Information about the Solver including:
a. The key contact person for this Challenge (including phone number and email address).
b. Organization/Company/University name and address (including website, if available).
(NOTE: For most Challenges, Solvers are not allowed to include personal contact information; however, for an eRFP Challenge, it is required.)
[NOTE: Only proposals from Solvers who have the ability to work as a collaboration partner will be considered.]
This challenge provides contribution to the following sustainable development goals (SDGs) to transform our world:
- SDG 7: Affordable and Clean Energy;
- SDG 9: Industry, Innovation and Infrastructure.