A new type of leading-edge protection has ‘negligible’ impact on annual energy production at rated wind speeds, according to a new independent report.
Armour Edge is a new and highly durable leading-edge protection shield which uses a bespoke ultra-tough thermoplastic material, created specifically for wind turbine blades.
It has been developed by Dundee firm Edge Solutions, and the shields have already been installed at offshore wind farms in the Baltic and North Seas.
The Scots company commissioned Natural Power Consultants to examine the impact the blade protection solution has on a representative turbine’s aerodynamic performance. The study builds on previous CFD analysis by Heriot Watt University and wind tunnel tests at the University of Glasgow.
The analysis showed negligible impact on turbine performance at rated wind speeds and above.
“These tests give us increasing confidence in the unique performance of our Armour Edge product,” says Edge Solutions Managing Director David Urch [pictured].
“Earlier this year, a durability analysis by ORE Catapult predicted our product could last over 50 years in an offshore environment and would – crucially – degrade in a very uniform manner, offering better performance, for longer, for Armour Edge protected blades.”
“In combination, these studies suggest Armour Edge could have a material positive impact on the LCOE of operational wind farms. We anticipate that field data will underline these results, offering a compelling case for the long-term use of our product,” Urch concludes.
Each Armour Edge shield is up to a metre long and is custom formed to the exact blade type and then bonded into place by trained technicians. It is designed to allow rapid installation which results in less downtime and improved profitability for wind farm owners.
The Scots company has secured two follow-on orders to install their Armour Edge blade protection system at offshore wind farms in the Baltic Sea and the southern North Sea. The deals follow the successful trial application of their custom-made erosion shields with the same operators at as-yet un-named sites in 2020 and 2021.
“We are now seeing repeat orders delivering significant revenue momentum and each new installation gives us increasing confidence in the ease of application of our system, resulting in less downtime for operators,” Urch concludes.
They have just signed a partnership with US wind maintenance specialists Rope Partner and are seeing significant number of enquiries in this market as a result.
In June last year Edge Solutions secured £700,000 to roll out Armour Edge worldwide.