Leading edge erosion specialists Edge Solutions have completed the second installation of their Armour Edge blade protection system at the Riffgat offshore wind farm in the southern North Sea and have now secured a follow-on order to complete further turbines in 2023.
The 2022 programme was completed by technicians from hemmerschütz GmbH on behalf of windfarm owner Offshore Windpark RIFFGAT GmbH and coordinated by the operating entity Omexom Renewable Energies Offshore GmbH. The campaign follows the trial application of the ultra-durable custom-made erosion shields at the same site in 2020.
The shields have been developed using a bespoke version of INEOS’s ultra-tough Luran® SC thermoplastic material, created specifically for wind turbine blades. A 2022 study by ORE Catapult predicted the shields would have an operational lifetime in excess of 50 years.
Edge Solutions Managing Director David Urch said:
“This installation is a great validation for our product. Each new commission gives us increasing confidence in the ease of application of our system, resulting in less downtime for operators.
“We’ve used feedback to improve the Armour Edge system with end-to-end flush joints to further simplify application and enhance performance.
“This has been proven at Riffgat, where last summer’s installation was carried out in a third less time than the previous edge protection used by the farm,” Urch says.
Dirk Warnecke, Managing Director of Offshore-Windpark Riffgat GmbH:
“The learning curve concerning handling and installation of the shields, which Edge Solutions made from the first tests in 2020 to today’s product is impressive. After a very smooth application, we are looking forward to see the product’s performance in the upcoming operation years.”
Mark Thomaschütz, CEO at hemmerschütz GmbH said:
“The latest design has proved very easy and rapid to install. This has involved less downtime for windfarm operators, and I am now recommending Armour Edge to all of our clients.”
Peter Rath, Sales Director Construction, Distribution, Compounding, Others EMEA at INEOS Styrolution, says: “We are a proud partner of Edge Solutions. Their solution is absolutely in line with our vision of sustainability. The longevity of the solution, as stated in the study by ORE Catapult, is a confirmation of the amazing toughness of the customised version of our Luran® SC material used in this project.”
The Dundee firm is now shipping orders to a number of unnamed wind farms, in the UK, USA and India, and is rolling out product training to installation technicians in advance of an expected uptick in orders for 2023.
Each Armour Edge shield is up to one 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.
Riffgat has a fleet of thirty Siemens 3.6 -120 turbines installed on monopiles 15 kilometres off the island of Borkum. It was commissioned in 2014.