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Industry News | 3D Printing and the Wind Power Industry: How Technology is Transforming the Sector

Date: 2019-03-15
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Development and innovation through materials and manufacturing technologies are essential for the wind industry to prosper and to continue increasing its annual energy production.


AM could in the future enable in-site manufacture of turbine components that are designed for the unique needs of the resources of a particular location. Also, AM provides a tool to make up for the demand and supply for wind turbine spare parts of the discontinued models, for which the manufacturer will have limited quantity to meet the repairs.


The US Department of Energy’s (DOE) Wind Program and Advanced Manufacturing Office has partnered with public and private organisations to apply AM in the production of wind turbine blade moulds. Traditionally, blade design requires the creation of a plug, or a full-size representation of the final blade, which is then used to make the mould. This is one of the most time-consuming and labour-intensive processes in wind blade construction where 3D printing can save these critical resources.


Another potential benefit is that large wind blades would not have to be carried over long distances. Instead, the 3D printer could be taken on-site and “print” the blades thereby saving transportation cost. Also, this would cut down the manufacturing time of the mould by 35% making it possible to combine different materials in different areas of the blade.


Via: https://www.power-technology.com


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