Is Blade Erosion the next Achilles heel for BigWind?

Although Gearbox failure is the most expensive/catastrophic problem with industrial wind turbines, it sounds like blade problems are gathering momentum. Perhaps, this is why blades are constantly ‘down’ when we drive through the Van Wert, Ohio area? Let us remind you that BigWind is lobbying the Ohio legislators to REduce our turbines setbacks from the current 1,250 feet from a property line. Pay attention to the rotation speeds mentioned below…250 mph!! Anything, no matter how small, flying off of a blade that rotates this fast, will easily travel well beyond 1,250 feet.  This, along with the noise and vibration considerations, is why HUNDREDS of counties, states, and countries, around the world, have setbacks GREATER than ours in Ohio…

Studies have consistently shown that erosion can lead to a loss in annual energy production (AEP) of up to 20% on severe cases. This figure is hard to ignore, and highlights the ROI benefits that can be achieved from paying close attention to erosion. The heart of the issue is the fact that wind blades come into contact with various elements in the air at rotation speeds up to 250 mph, leading to erosion in the form of pitting, gouging and delamination of the edge of the blade. This erosion not only compromises the integrity of the blade, but also impacts its aerodynamic efficiency, causing a significant loss in AEP. This loss can be compounded by the downtime necessary to make repairs to turbines, so owners have important motivations for protecting blades against erosion and making repairs quickly. In severe cases of erosion can even lead up to blade replacement which can get very expensive….Source: Effective Ways to Prevent Wind Blade Erosion

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