EROSION: Wind Turbine Blade Erosion・Reducing the largest uncertainties

The objective of EROSION is to enable longer lifetime of wind turbine blades at multi-MW machines.

Project overview

To achieve the objective we will investigate leading edge erosion at wind turbine blades using rain erosion tester for selected blades and different rain input. Furthermore the rain in real atmosphere will be investigated from ground-based instruments (distrometers), modelling of rain based on rain radar data for new understanding of rain erosion climatology at relevant sites. Moreover, a new prototype instrument will be developed in order to measure rain at wind turbines for making decision on control, to set ‘erosion safe mode’ with regulation of turbines based on the assumption that lower tip speed during heavy rain event will enable much longer lifetime of wind turbine blades at multi-MW machines.

The erosion-based control strategy is based on a technology where the external conditions that trigger the erosion (rain, hail) are monitored and that the turbine at severe conditions is down-regulated. The reduced tip-speed of the turbine will lead to a reduced degradation of the leading edge and thus to a longer lifetime and reduced cost for operation and maintenance.

EROSION will create significant value. The expected benefits include:

  • Increased lifetime of blades, from few years to 25 years.
  • Limit loss of energy due to degraded blades (otherwise 5 to 20% loss occur).
  • Drastically reduce operation and maintenance costs (6% on LCoE).
  • Competitive bids at lower kWh prices for new tenders across the world.