Photo credit: Re-Wind Network
Re-Wind Network is an interdisciplinary research team made up of experts from the City University of New York, Munster Technological University, Georgia Institute of Technology, Queen’s University Belfast and University College Cork, as well as industry affiliates driving innovation in wind turbine blade repurposing. The group recently announced the release of its fall 2021 catalog, Re:Wind Design, which features designs and details of structures and products made from reused end-of-life (EOL) wind turbine blades available from of Re-Wind Network.
Models of the blades used in the designs were produced at the Georgia Institute of Technology using in-house software from LiDAR scans or documentation of four decommissioned wind turbine blades. Graphics were produced in Rhinoceros 3D (Robert McNeel & Associates, Seattle, Washington, USA) and Enscape (Karlsruhe, Germany) software. Blades used in the designs include:
- 250 kilowatts (kW) Nordex (Hamburg, Germany) N29 turbine – 13.4 meter blade
- Vestas Turbine (Aarhus, Denmark) V44 600 kW — 21 meter blade
- General Electric (Boston, Mass., USA) GE 1.5-77 1.5 megawatt (MW) turbine – 37 meter blade
- Liberty Clipper C96 2.5 MW turbine – 46.7 meter blade
According to the Re-Wind Network, each blade represents the typical sizes and lengths of blades currently out of service around the world. Designs detailed in the catalog include BladeBridges, Multi-Beam Bridges, Low Profile Bridges, Cable Bridges, BladeBoardwalks, BladePoles, BladeBarriers, BladeShelters, and BladeFarming.
According to this catalog, the Re-Wind Network team also offers its services of architectural design, structural engineering analysis and design, construction management and logistics services to those who wish to reuse their wind turbine blades. EOL, including:
- Develop architectural concepts and designs for potential repurposed structures.
- Build an outer surface model of the blade in Rhinoceros 3D from LiDAR point clouds or blade manufacturer’s documentation.
- Build a “thick” technical analysis model of the blade from internal point clouds, physical measurements and internal algorithms.
- Perform selected tests on materials extracted from the blade to provide the physical and mechanical property data of a blade.
- Provide Finite Element Analysis (FEA) models for 2D and 3D analysis of the entire blade or parts of the blade for use in third party Finite Element Method (FEM) codes.
- Provide engineering section properties (EI, EA, GJ, kAG) of the blade at selected locations for use in third-party structural engineering codes.
- Perform structural and stress analysis of reused structures fabricated from the blade, including all connections and attachments.
- Perform large-scale tests on prototypes of the repurposed structures made from the blade.
- Perform site investigations and recommend foundations and support structures for repurposed structures.
- Provide estimates of construction costs, life cycle costs (LCC) and life cycle assessments (LCA) of reused structures fabricated from the blade.
- Provide on-site construction management during construction of repurposed structures.
The catalog can be downloaded here.