The University of Maine’s Advanced Structures and Composites Center has completed static testing of a 56 m (184 ft) wind-turbine blade for Gamesa. The blade was manufactured in North America and delivered to the University of Maine in late August.
The Gamesa blade was the largest tested to date in the UMaine Offshore Wind Laboratory. The full-service facility offers testing and material characterization services for every stage of blade development. The lab, which opened in 2011, was funded by the National Institute of Standards and Technology through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, the Maine Technology Asset Fund through the Maine Technology Institute, and a 2010 Maine bond.
According to UMaine Composites Center Director Dr. Habib Dagher, “We are honored to have served one of the world’s leading wind turbine manufacturers. This is the biggest structure we have tested to date, extending nearly 80% of the length of our blade test lab.”
“Our engineers, technicians, and students did a great job designing, building, and operating the equipment needed to safely rotate and test the 56m blade,” said John Arimond, who joined the UMaine Composites Center in 2013 after 28 years in industry, most recently serving as CTO of a New Zealand-based manufacturer of 500 kW wind turbines.
Juan Diego Díaz, Gamesa´s Marketing Director, added “We are excited to be partnering with UMaine for blade testing. North America was a logical place to conduct this important step in our product development, supporting our growing commercial opportunities in that region and globally. We were impressed by the testing quality, safety and attention to detail provided by the UMaine team in successfully testing our blade.”
UMaine Composites Center