Rotating at speeds of up to 200 miles per hour, wind-turbine blades consistently encounter an array of environmental factors – including sand, hail, and salt spray – which can cause significant damage and reduce aerodynamic efficiency.
To optimize turbine performance and maximize a wind farm’s return on investment, increased attention has been focused on the need to protect and maintain turbine blades. For more than 40 years, 3M has been an expert and provider in leading-edge protection, starting with the aerospace industry.
During this year’s WindEnergy Hamburg Expo (September 27 to 30), 3M plans on launching a new solution for wind-turbine blade protection. Building on the success of the company’s existing Wind Protection Tape portfolio, which provides what’s currently the most widely used leading-edge protection technologies on the market, 3M has taken a proven solution and improved it.
Made with a tough, high durability polyurethane elastomer, 3M Wind Protection Tape 2.0 is designed to resist erosion from rain, sand, and punctures, even at prolonged exposure to UV rays.
“In the wind industry, it is critical for operators to find proactive techniques to maintain and increase wind blade performance,” said Santhosh Chandrabalan, Global Business Manager, 3M Wind Energy. “In our current line of Wind Protection Tapes, field studies have consistently demonstrated an average life cycle of six to eight years. Remarkably, through 31+ hours of rain erosion lab testing with the same conditions, 3M Wind Protection Tape 2.0 has lasted up to three times longer, as it is the only solution that can be consistently applied in terms of thickness performance.”
Additional advantages to 3M Wind Protection Tape 2.0 include extended maintenance and service intervals, fast and easy application in OEM environments and a broad application window enabling installations under harsh conditions (e.g., temperature and humidity). By installing a robust solution such as the Wind Protection Tape, wind farm owners and operators can avoid loss in AEP due to erosion resulting in an increased ROI.
Visit booth A4-430 at the WindEnergy Hamburg Expo to see a variety of innovative 3M products in action.