Ready for the Next Stiff Breeze

Those who have experienced an autumn storm on the North Sea know how loudly the wind whistles around your ears. Wind is power. And it is possible to harness this power using wind turbines. However, these turbines also need to be able to withstand this power. Reliable and high-performance technology is required. This is why leading manufacturers use pultruded profiles from Röchling in their rotor blades. This feature prepares them for the next stiff breeze.

You cannot really tell how high the loads acting on rotor blades are from just looking. From a distance, all you usually see is them turning evenly. But appearances can be deceptive: wind speeds of up to 90 kilometers per hour, top blade speeds of up to 300 kilometers per hour, strong UV radiation and weather conditions all place high demands on rotor blades. Engineers and technicians therefore need to plan and design these blades in such a way that they are efficient, reliable and fail-safe, even under heavy loads. An important component for this comes from Röchling in Haren, Germany.

Stabilizing Element
Leading manufacturers of wind turbine systems use pultruded profiles for “spar caps” made of carbon (CFRP) or glass fiber reinforced (GFRP) Durostone® from Röchling. Spar caps are used on the inside of the rotor blades as stabilizing elements and can absorb extreme ­tensile forces. In doing so, they reduce flexing of the rotor blades under high wind loads and contribute to the safe operation and high performance of the turbines.

“To make optimum use of the properties of the glass or carbon fibers, we process them to create pultruded profiles, which are several hundred meters long,” explains Hans-Jürgen Geers, General Manager Technology and Marketing Business Unit Composites at Röchling Industrial. The profiles are rolled up for transport and ­later cut to the appropriate length for the respective ­rotor blade by the customer. Profiles such as these are just 50 to 200 millimeters wide. Multiple profiles are laid side by side or one on top of the other to form a spar cap and then bonded to the inside of the rotor blade to form a unit. This optimally prepares them for when the next stiff breeze hits.

 
 

Hans-Jürgen Geers

Röchling Industrial, General Manager Technology and Marketing, Business Unit Composites

Phone: +49 5934 701-226

hans-juergen.geers@roechling-plastics.com

© Olha Rohulya — fotolia.com, Röchling Group