The spin-off from a Michigan boat builder has licensed a 45.3m blade design from a Spanish company and will begin its production as soon as tests on prototypes complete. Michigan-based Energetx Composites will build the blade for 2 MW land-based turbines in Class II winds, those with 8.5 m/s average wind speeds at hub heights. “We licensed this design from Spain’s Aeroblade and are excited about the opportunity to supply the 45m blade as well as other designs for the North American market,” says Energetx VP of Business Development Kelly Slikkers. “The blade is made of epoxy and fiberglass for improved fatigue characteristics in cold climates as well as overall performance.”
At this time, the company is investing in capacity and process by hiring experienced wind-blade-process engineers as well as in workforce training to manufacture these large components.
Slikkers says the certification blade has been completed and will ship to Boston for testing at the Wind Turbine Technology Center and GL Certification. Static tests began July 1 and will take about three weeks. Then it will be fatigue tested at a facility there and then to failure – bending till it buckles. Fatigue tests may take four to five months.
“The facility can house up to five mold sets and we expect the first blade sets to ship in late August.”