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Introducing the SustaBlade Project

Development of Sustainable Wind Turbine Blades using Novel Materials

Introducing SustaBlade, an SEAI-funded project which has won €455k under the National Energy Research, Development & Demonstration Funding Programme 2023.

In the wind energy sector, viable end-of-life solutions for wind turbine blades are currently limited, mainly due to the challenging recyclability of conventional structures made from thermoset resins and glass fibre. The proposed SustaBlade project aims to address this issue by developing a sustainable manufacturing solution for wind turbine blades in the growing offshore wind energy market. The project focuses on improving blade recyclability and incorporating circular materials into the supply chain.

As Ireland aims to secure 3GW of offshore energy capacity, it becomes crucial to adopt innovative solutions that reduce the carbon footprint of future wind farm developments throughout their entire lifecycles. The SustaBlade project will analyse, design, manufacture, and test full-scale wind turbine blades using novel sustainable materials, such as Elium, a thermoplastic resin. To determine the optimal combination of conventional and sustainable materials, panels with various configurations will be manufactured, tested, and analysed.

ÉireComposites Teo will lead the project, manufacturing test panels and wind turbine blade demonstrators, while conducting a comprehensive material characterization campaign through mechanical testing. Leveraging their expertise in blade design and demonstrator-level testing, the University of Galway will develop and validate Finite Element Analysis (FEA) models to assess the feasibility and effectiveness of sustainable materials in blade construction.

By focusing on sustainable materials and recyclability, the SustaBlade project aims to revolutionize wind turbine blade manufacturing, contributing to the environmental sustainability of offshore wind energy and supporting Ireland’s renewable energy goals

This project has been supported with financial contribution from the Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland under the SEAI Research, Development & Demonstration Funding Programme 2023, Grant number 23/RDD/1006.

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