3M and Rope Partner have teamed up to conduct an in-field study on the effects of leading edge wind turbine blade damage. The yearlong study aims to measure the reduction in overall wind turbine output due to leading edge erosion.
As turbine blades rotate, reaching speeds of 180 miles per hour at the tips, they are exposed to the elements. Any airborne object, such as sand, rain, and hail, can damage the leading edge of the blade. This erosion negatively affects aerodynamics by causing turbulence that may reduce the overall turbine output.
“Over the last decade at sites all across the globe, we’ve seen firsthand the damage caused by leading edge erosion when conducting our inspections for wind turbine maintenance and repairs,” said Chris Bley, Director of Business Development. “We’ve seen sites where significant erosion occurs in a little as two years after installation. Our customers are concerned about the effects this erosion will have on the performance of their turbines, and we are committed to finding answers for them through this important study.”
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