Wind turbines are exposed to extreme stresses and environmental influences. The leading edges of rotor blades are particularly susceptible to damaging erosion and the accumulation of ice, depending upon the weather conditions. This can lead to turbine damage and significant degradation of its aerodynamic performance.
During the course of the joint project “Multifunctional Hybrid Solution for the Protection of Rotor Blades (HyRoS)” the project partners – SAERTEX GmbH & Co. KG, WRD GmbH (ENERCON), Gummiwerk KRAIBURG GmbH, Kaschier + Laminier GmbH, HERMES Systeme GmbH, the Institute for Integrated Product Development (BIK) of the University of Bremen and the Institute for Composite Materials GmbH (IVW) – developed a multifunctional protection system for rotor blades which is based on a hybrid material solution. On the one hand, this is intended to protect the leading edge against erosion through a material combination comprising multiaxial technical fabrics and an elastomer, while on the other hand the accumulation of ice is prevented by using an integrated anti-icing system.
The objectives of the project are:
■To increase the efficiency of a wind turbine by reducing the turbulent airflow over the surface of a rotor blade
■To increase the efficiency of large wind turbines in particular, by reducing blade damage – even at future higher circumferential speeds (tip speeds) of the blades (e.g. offshore or in mountainous areas)
■To increase the efficiency of a wind turbine through better utilisation of the turbine, particularly under weather conditions during which there is a risk of ice accumulation
■To decrease the noise emissions from a wind turbine by reducing the turbulent airflow over the surface of a rotor blade
■To reduce the maintenance intervals and logistics costs of rotor blades
The project is part of the 6th Energy Research Programme and is being funded by the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy (BMWi) on the basis of a resolution passed by the German Federal Parliament. The Jülich Project Management Agency (PTJ) is overseeing the project.