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Brief Introduction to the HyBlade Project

Vertical axis wind turbines (VAWTs) can be built in tight arrays / meshes with alternating directions of rotation, contrary to the horizontal axis wind turbines (HAWTs) that need a large inter-turbine spacing. When VAWTs are combined in a specific mesh, the energy output of the limited ground surface area can be increased up to ten times compared with current state-of-the-art wind farms. However, VAWTs are economically not yet competitive with HAWTs and this limits the potential of large VAWT wind farms. A solution for improving the profitability besides increasing the energy output is to use large series production technologies for wind turbines.

Turbine

Horizontal axis wind turbine and vertical axis wind turbine

In order to accomplish this, one has to revise particularly the materials used for production. Wind turbine blades, for instance, are currently produced by using fibre reinforced materials which is extremely costly. Choosing a different material could facilitate the production process of the whole turbine. The use of metal would additionally have advantages with respect to issues like robustness, sustainability and recycling. A possible manufacturing process chain would start with the roll forming of blade preforms which would then be calibrated by a hydroforming process.


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