Bayer MaterialScience LLC, one of the world’s largest producers of polymers and high-performance plastics, has recently created a new polyurethane-based composite technology in order to improve the wind power industry. The new composite material has been designed for stronger, longer wind turbine blades.
This technology was well received at the recent American Wind Energy Association (AWEA) Off-Shore Windpower Conference and Exhibition. The successful development was possible after the collaboration between Bayer, the DOE and Molded Fiber Glass Companies.
“It’s gratifying for our development to be highlighted, particularly in light of the many wind technology projects funded by the Department of Energy’s Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy program in the past year,” said Mike Gallagher, director, Public Sector Business, Bayer.
The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) was pleased about Bayer’s proposal to create materials that allow blades to be lighter, stronger and longer. According to the company, the blade length is very important in the energy generation. If the length is doubled, the wind turbine produces four times more power.
“We are proud of our achievement because it showcases Bayer’s ability to bring material solutions to solve unmet market needs. This development should make a significant contribution to wind power as a key component of sustainable energy,” said Sharon Papke, head of BMS NAFTA Wind Energy, Bayer.
The new composites not only improve the wind turbine blades but also have superior processing and handling properties. The total manufacturing cost is expected to be reduced by as much as 16 percent. Due to this combination between performance and cost, blade designers now have the possibility to capture wind power much more efficiently.