We are trying to collect dilute erratic energy, spread over hundreds of square kilometers in windy, salty, and wet conditions with machines that spin at 330km/hour. What could possibly go wrong?
Ørsted must repair up to 2,000 wind turbine blades because the leading edge of the blades have become worn down after just a few years at sea.
The wind turbine owner will not disclose the bill, but says that the financial significance is “small”.
The cost of repair is so small they need to keep it a secret.
But it can’t be cheap. For the most part the blades need to be brought down, shipped and repaired on land. Repairing them at sea is a rare feat.
This must be the infamous leading edge erosion.
The Offwhore Wind Industry website discussed this type of damage in 2015:
Large rotors lead to large yields, but also to lots of annoyance – at least as far as the coating is concerned. After only a few years, the protective layer that is supposed to prevent erosion is already worn out. Materials that really last for 20 years are still being worked on.
The ever larger rotor blades have led to increasing rotation speeds of the blade tips. Offshore, speeds of up to 90 m/s are now reached. This is around 330 km/h. At these speeds, raindrops and hailstones hit the coating like bullets and remove the erosion protection like a pressure washer. After that, the rain washes away the rest of the coating layers and in the worst case exposes the blade structure. The tips and the leading edges of the blades are most affected.
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