Innovative test methods for wind turbine rotor blades

Wind energy continues to expand and advance – with every new generation of wind turbines come improvements in production, assembly and operation. Technology for testing large-scale components, for example rotor blades, is necessary to ensure that strict requirements and the »Made in Germany« quality standard are met.

Identifying weak points in rotor blades during production is complex and costly. However, if these weak points are only discovered once the blades are in operation on the turbine, defect correction for on-shore turbines can cost up to several hundred thousand euros. If the turbines are off-shore, then the costs can skyrocket, increasing as much as ten-fold. Eliminating these risks during construction and operation reduces production and operation costs considerably.

The project »InFaRo – Innovative test methods for fiber reinforced composite components in the rotor blade sector« aims to optimize fiber reinforced composite materials manufacturing for wind turbine rotor blades using innovative methods. To do this, a practical radar scanner will be developed within the scope of this project for the contactless detection of defects in glass fiber reinforced plastics. A measuring system will enable rotor blades to be analyzed in production plants using radar technology and thermography. This will make it possible to thoroughly and reliably detect defects such as delaminations, folds, air bubbles, resin lumps, dry sections of laminate, undulating fibers or fractures in the balsa wood or hard foam, both during the production process and also on the finished components.

Program:

6th Energy Research Program »Research for an Environmentally Sound, Reliable and Affordable Energy Supply«

Project duration:

08/2016 – 01/2020

Consortium:

  • Fraunhofer Institute for Applied Solid State Physics IAF
  • COMPOSCAN GmbH
  • Composite Material Supply GmbH
  • University of Stuttgart, Institute of Robust Power Semiconductor Systems
  • Gesellschaft zur Förderung der angewandten Informatik e.V.