The world’s first recyclable wind turbine to employ Elium resin is this one

The world’s first recyclable wind turbine to employ Elium resin is this one

The ZEBRA (Zero wastE Blade ReseArch) consortium proudly announced on December 15 the production of the second recyclable thermoplastic wind turbine blade and the successful completion of the full-scale validation testing for the first, marking a significant step towards achieving a circular economy in the wind industry.

The amazing 77-meter-long second ZEBRA blade was made at LM Wind Power’s blade mill in Castellón, Spain. This blade is unique because it is the first in the world to use recycled Elium resin in the shear web, which is an essential aspect of the blade structure.

This discovery not only highlights the ZEBRA consortium’s technical capability but also the enormous potential of Elium resin technology in achieving ecologically friendly blade designs. With this achievement, the wind energy industry will have a new benchmark for imitating the circularity of Elium resin.

Sustainability through cooperation and cutting-edge materials.

The significance of the second ZEBRA blade was highlighted by John Korsgaard, Senior Director at LM Wind Power, who said in a statement that it “builds on the learning and valuable insights gained from the creation of the first blade” and has assisted the company in realizing the potential of using Elium resin in carbon blades.

He also praised his partners’ efforts to demonstrate recycling technologies for Elium-based composites using glass and carbon fibers. “This blade marks a key milestone for the ZEBRA project and highlights the significance of plant collaboration in new technology development, in addition to supporting sustainability objects for our company and our customers,” he said.

The IRT Jules Verne’s Guillaume SANA, the project leader, expressed his excitement about the project’s advancement and noted that the productive conclusion of the first blade’s testing campaign and the manufacturing of the second blade represent significant accomplishments for the consortium and the wind energy sector overall. The delivery of a comprehensive life cycle study based on ZEBRA project blades, an emphasis on recycling initiatives, and the conclusion of validation testing on the second blade showcasing the new Carbon-Elium resin spar cap are among the next significant goals that SANA set for 2024.

The Journey of the ZEBRA Project.

Leading industrial businesses including Arkema, CANOE, ENGIE, LM Wind Power, Owens Corning, and SUEZ are part of the ZEBRA project, which was launched in September 2020 and is being headed by the French research center IRT Jules Verne. This project is an example of worldwide collaboration.

Initiated to showcase the technological, financial, and ecological significance of thermoplastic wind turbine blades on a large scale, the project utilizes an eco-design methodology to expedite recycling. The consortium has been deep in development and testing since March 2022, when the first recyclable ZEBRA blade was manufactured, with the goal of realizing a Carbon-Elium resin spar design.

After successfully completing extensive validation testing at LM Wind Power’s Test and Validation Center in Denmark, the first recyclable blade is presently undergoing recycling testing. The second blade is currently undergoing structural lifespan testing; static testing, which involves applying high loads to the blade, has already been completed.

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