Deakin University will work with wind energy solution provider, Vestas, to improve the compressive strength of carbon fibre composite materials for wind turbines.
Carbon fibre composites are critical material to the further improvement of wind turbine blades, due to their unmatched strength-to-weight ratio, enabling the manufacture of longer blades which improve efficiency and lower cost.
The uptake of carbon fibre composites has been one of the main drivers behind the increased turbine efficiency and competitiveness of wind power in recent years. Turbine blades are now the largest single use for carbon fibre, accounting for over 40 per cent of global production.
“Improved composite material will bring revolutionary benefit to renewable industry locally and globally. By improving efficiency and driving down the cost of wind turbines, we are providing Victoria, Australia and the world with clean and more affordable energy,” says Vestas Asia Pacific president, Clive Turton.
“Breakthroughs in composite materials will benefit the wind industry, and may deliver significant commercial outcomes in other industries.”
Adrian Gill, global lead specialist for blade structure and material at Vestas, believes it is important to invest in further materials research.
“With carbon fibre composite innovations, we can increase the performance of turbine blades. Stronger carbon fibre will allow us to reduce the required amount of carbon fibre used in the blade, so the blade will be lighter and cheaper. This makes renewable energy cleaner and more affordable, and supporting the development of Australia’s growing wind energy sector,” says Gill.