Wind turbines made with fabric

Enel Green Power has launched a partnership with the Scottish startup ACT Blade to develop a new type of innovative wind turbine made of fabric, capable of generating more energy, reducing costs and making it easier to recycle its component materials. ACT Blade specializes in the production of innovative wind turbines covered with a special technical fabric, based on the principles adopted for the sails used by boats competing in the America’s Cup. This technology has great potential for the wind power industry as well, because it could bring significant benefits in both economic and environmental terms. First of all, the turbine blades are lighter because they have a slender supporting structure made of composite material that is completely covered with the technical fabric. The new blades with the same weight as conventional ones are longer and therefore ensure an increased production of electricity. In addition, the costs are lower thanks to other features, such as a structure that is composed of fewer materials in relation to its length, as well as modular production processes that are simpler and more streamlined, leading to expected savings of up to 17%. Finally, a particularly relevant aspect concerns the circular economy.
The ACT Blade rotor blades are made of a reusable fabric and from elements that are more easily separable compared with conventional blades, so they can be recovered more easily once the blades are dismantled at the end of their useful life. According to Enel Green Power ACT Blade’s technology fits perfectly with Enel’s strategy for the circular management of wind farms: maximizing the reuse and recycling of materials and components and applying a circular perspective right from the design phase.

(Innovative Materials Volume 6 2021)

More at Enel Green Power>