In the first phase of the DOE-funded additive manufactured blade mold demonstration project, Sandia National Laboratories has designed the wind blade that will be built with the new molds. One of the 3D-printed molds will be showcased at the American Wind Energy Association (AWEA) 2016 Windpower Conference and Exhibition, May 23-26 in New Orleans, LA. Using Sandia’s blade design, Oak Ridge National Laboratory is creating the molds by additive manufacturing. The 3-D printed molds will be transferred to industry partner TPI Composites, Inc., where they will be finished and used to make four blades based on Sandia’s design. Ultimately, the resulting 13-meter blade will be flown on Sandia’s highly modified Vestas V27 turbines at Sandia’s subscale Scaled Wind Farm Technology (SWiFT) facility in Lubbock, Texas. The first blade of its kind, the National Rotor Testbed (NRT) is a scaled-down version of the nation’s most common 1.5MW blade. Instead of duplicating the shape and performance of these blades, Sandia engineers designed the NRT to replicate the wakes of industry blades currently in service. This unique small-scale design will enable DOE and Sandia to analyze turbine-to-turbine interactions cost effectively. EERE’s Wind Program and Advanced Manufacturing Office (AMO) are collaborating on the funding and creation of the blade molds; after the molds and resulting blades are complete, they will be used to research wind facility efficiency at the DOE Scaled Wind Farm Technology (SWiFT) Facility, which is managed by Sandia National Laboratories in Lubbock, Texas. Project success will enable significant cost savings for blade production as well as agility to test and evaluate emerging designs that can improved efficiency and reduce manufacturing costs.
Sandia National Laboratories’ blade design to be showcased at AWEA
About the Author: Andrea (Andi) Penner
Program Communications Specialist, Renewable Energy Programs, Sandia National Laboratories, firstname.lastname@example.org
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