ZEBRA design achieves crucial corner with product of the first prototype of its recyclable wind turbine blade
The ZEBRA (Zero wastE Blade ReseArch) institute is moment marking a new step forward on the assiduity’s transition to a indirect frugality with the product of the first prototype of its 100 recyclable wind turbine blade. The 62m blade was made using Arkema’s Elium ® resin, which is a thermoplastic resin well known for its recyclable parcels together with the new high performance Glass Fabrics from Owens Corning.
Launched in September 2020, the ZEBRA (Zero wastE Blade ReseArch) design is a unique cooperation led by French exploration center IRT Jules Verne and brings together artificial companies including Arkema, CANOE, Engie, LM Wind Power, Owens Corning and SUEZ. Its purpose is to demonstrate the specialized, profitable, and environmental applicability of thermoplastic wind turbine blades on a full scale, with aneco-design approach to grease recycling.
Within the design, LM Wind Power has designed and erected the world’s largest thermoplastic blade at its Ponferrada factory in Spain. This corner is achieved after a time of material development and testing backed bysub-component position process trials by the institute mates.
The liquid thermoplastic resin is impeccably acclimated for the manufacturing of large corridor by resin infusion, combined with Owens Corning high performance fabrics. The performing compound material is delivering analogous performances to thermoset resins but with a crucial unique benefit recyclability.
Elium ® grounded compound factors can be reclaimed using an advanced system called chemical recycling that enables to completely depolymerize the resin, separate the fiber from the resin and recover a new abecedarian resin & High Modulus Glass ready to be reused, closing the circle. This system, developed by Arkema and CANOE mates, are tested on all compound corridor including waste generated from product. Owens Corning is also in charge of chancing results for fiberglass recovering through remelting or reusing in colorful operations.
In addition to material testing and process trials, the companies have also made progress on developing and optimizing the manufacturing process by using robotization, to reduce energy consumption and waste from product.
LM Wind Power will now start full-scale structural continuance testing at its Test and Confirmation Centre in Denmark, to corroborate the performance of the compound material used in making the blade and its feasibility for unborn sustainable blade product. Once these tests are finished, the End Of Life recycling styles will also be validated.
The coming way are the recycling of product waste, the dismantling and recycling of this first blade and the analysis of the test results. By the end of the design in 2023, the institute will have met the challenge of bringing the wind energy sector into the indirect frugality circle in a sustainable manner, according to the principles ofeco-design.
“ Work on the ZEBRA design is progressing according to schedule, which has all the necessary moxie for the deployment of sustainable thermoplastic wind turbine blades. The manufacture of this first blade is a great success for the entire institute and for the wind assiduity in general,”Céline Largeau, Project Manager, IRT Jules Verne.
“ With this design we’re addressing two pivotal assiduity challenges. On one hand, we’re progressing on our Zero Waste Blades vision by precluding and recovering manufacturing waste. On the other, we’re taking blade recyclability to a new position the end-of- life thermoplastic compound blade material has high value in itself and can be readily employed in other diligence as material composites but can also be depolymerized and the resin reused in the product of new blades,” states John Korsgaard, Senior Director, Engineering Excellence, LM Wind Power.