ORE Catapult invests in blade manufacturing facility
Offshore Renewable Energy (ORE) Catapult is investing in a prototype blade manufacturing facility at its National Renewable Energy Centre in Blyth.
The Additive Manufacturing for Wind Blades project will install an advanced manufacturing cell that aims to prove technologies that can reduce blade production costs and increase production speeds.
According to ORE, the facility will challenge traditional blade manufacturing processes by using 3D robotic printing techniques, investigating the use of sustainable materials, as well as flexible and more productive manufacturing methods.
The facility will also allow the rapid production of prototype blade enhancements such as vortex generators and edge erosion protection systems.
ORE Catapult plans to use the facility to directly support UK SME and supply chain development in order to accelerate new prototype blade designs for application in the industry, as well as forging further ties with key sector players.
“Our new Additive cell will allow us to quickly develop new blade design concepts and move from the drawing board to our test hall or development turbine in just a few days rather than months,” said Stephen Wyatt, Research and Disruptive Innovation Director at ORE Catapult.
“The low-cost agile nature of this process is a game changer for the Catapult blades team, who will work with innovators to rapidly develop new and more sustainable designs for our booming sector.”