The wind industry is seen as the most mature of the ‘new’ renewable energy systems. There is a steady and growing demand for wind turbines, especially for offshore applications.
Alongside the demand for turbines, there is still a considerable amount of research underway to develop ever bigger and more efficient machines, lighter structures and optimised manufacture. Consequently, there is there is pressure all along the supply chain to satisfy the dilemma of providing innovative solutions without increasing technology related risk.
Once the turbines are in service there is a need for greater levels of remote monitoring of both performance and condition. Passive approaches to performance protection, such as anti-fouling/anti-icing coatings for blades are also being pursued.
TWI provides a unique and independent combination of materials, fabrication and inspection expertise.
From advanced, high productivity fabrication technology and the specification of corrosion protection standards, to structural integrity assessment and failure investigation TWI offers support to wind energy operators, developers and OEMs at every stage of the project life-cycle.
In addition to an unrivalled track record in areas such as fatigue assessments of welded and bolted structures such as towers TWI can advise on the inspection and integrity of composites and metal-to-composite joints.
This expertise in implementing industry best practice and technology transfer is constantly updated through an extensive R&D programme covering topics such as NDT of blades, remote condition monitoring techniques, and the development of anti-icing and anti-fouling coatings for structures and blades.
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