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3 Types of Wind Blade Damage; 1 Simple Preventative Solution

October 12, 2016

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Wind energy power has grown in the US at 15% – 20% per year.

The Department of Energy projects this rapid growth will continue at least until 2030. The Global Wind Energy Council notes that globally wind energy was up 17% in 2015.

One major problem hindering the wind energy field is damage to the leading edge of the wind blade. This damage varies from small areas of “pitting” to large areas where the exterior coating has completely worn away.  Any wind blade damage reduces the efficiency of the blade’s ability to capture the power of the wind.

What causes wind blade damage other than lightning strikes?

Type of Coating

There are currently coatings in use which are put on the wind blades at the site of manufacture or in the field. Unfortunately, these coatings shrink and do not fully adhere to the leading edge. This shrinkage leaves the leading edge fully exposed just as if it had had no coating at all.

UV degradation

Wind blades are constantly exposed to the blazing sun. Even when temperatures are cool, the sun is still shining. Almost all of the coatings in use do not provide protection against the UV rays of the sun. In fact, the surface paints and gel coats in use actually contribute to the degradation of the wind blades. UV light is absorbed by these products. Once the UV light is absorbed, the coating begins to break apart leaving the blade susceptible to further damage and in need of costly repairs.

Water Intrusion

Since wind blades are out in the elements, they are exposed to all instances of water contact through precipitation and humidity. Current coatings in use do not provide a protective barrier against water intrusion. This will become especially important as the U.S. enters the world of off-shore wind farms.

It is imperative that wind blades be in top working order at all times. First of all, as wind power grows, so will the chances of wind blade damage. Having an effective coating available will provide a solution to three types of wind blade damage so that the growing number of wind farms will be able to get the most amount of energy from each and every turbine.

How much money could an effective coating save each wind farm each year?

Secondly, wind blade damage comes at an exorbitant cost. To repair one blade can cost more than $30,000. To replace one blade costs more than $250,000. How much money could an effective coating save each wind farm each year? The cost of an effective coating would be a fraction of the cost of repairs.

Epox-Z NRG system is the coating that can protect against all three types of damage.  Epox-Z NRG system does not shrink across the blade edge. Epox-Z NRG system provides protection against UV degradation. Epox-Z NRG protects against water intrusion. This one coating protects against all three types of damage.

If you are interested in learning more about Epox-Z coating, contact us. We are passionate about empowering you to protect the future of wind energy.