Our fundamental blade constant has not changed since we first began producing blades in 1978: two glass fiber shells attached to rigid webs. For our new generation of blades, finding the perfect balance between aerodynamics and structure presents the greatest design challenge for each blade type.
Balancing aerodynamics and structure
Aerodynamic properties are crucial in determining how well a blade can extract energy from the wind. LM Wind Power has developed considerable expertise in calculating blade geometry and optimizing performance. The structure defines the modular units of the blade that are assembled to provide maximum strength and rigidity without adding too much weight.
Design for reliability
Tried and tested 'building blocks' are the basis for all our blade development projects. We create new, highly reliable blade designs by developing and testing elements such as blade root fittings and the gelcoat independently of the ongoing construction of new types of blades. We then combine these using our advanced design tools.
We thoroughly test our design for the blade root (where the blade is fitted to the wind turbine), to ensure it can support blades that are becoming longer and heavier. The root solutions for LM Wind Power blades are robust and based on the principle of mechanical locking. Steel bushings are cast into the root and form an integral part of the blade.
When we first designed the LM 61.5 P, as the world's longest blade at the time, we refined our root concept to develop what we call the SuperRoot. The SuperRoot is stronger and more compact, accommodating 35-40% more bolts into the same root diameter, making it strong enough to support blades that are as much as 20 percent longer.
Gelcoat – protection from the elements
The outermost layer of LM blades consists of gelcoat. This is an integral part of the casting process, which means a thicker layer can be applied to improve the protection of the blades. In fact, all new blades start with a layer of gelcoat – the first step in the production process is to add gelcoat to the mold. LM Wind Power has been working with our suppliers for years, aiming to develop the optimum gelcoat. The result is a surface finish that resists salt, sand, sunlight, rain, humidity and insects. In addition, the gelcoat on our blades is as visually neutral as possible, with a non-reflective surface.
The optimal balance between price and performance.
Via smart engineering, we 'stretch' what our materials are capable of and continually expand the envelope of what can be achieved.
One team, one process, one blade.
When we manufacture blades, we work as one team. Irrespective of where our blades are produced, the philosophy, process and quality remain the same.
Performance and reliability through rigorous testing.
We are the only wind turbine blade manufacturer to have our very own wind tunnel and in-house testing facilities for full scale blade tests.