Leading rotor blade manufacturer, LM Wind Power, today announced its ambition to lower the cost of energy generated by wind power below grid parity, through a research project to develop ‘intelligent’ blades based on wireless sensor technology.
The sensors in the blades will be able to predict weather conditions and calculate when they can harvest the most energy from the wind while ensuring minimum loads on the wind turbine. The technology could be a real game changer, enabling developers to install more powerful turbines with increasingly longer blades without incurring the excessive additional cost it requires for strengthening the turbine structure.
LM Wind Power’s VP Business Development & Strategic Alliances, Frank V. Nielsen said: “It is our ambition to lower the cost of wind power so that it becomes more compelling than fossil fuel. The incentive to change to renewable energy sources is much greater if there’s an economic benefit in addition to large environmental benefits. We see that the wind turbine manufacturers are spending significant resources on improving the efficiency of wind turbines so we believe the market is ready to embrace new technological solutions.”
Wind power has moved significantly closer to grid parity over recent years. In fact, an onshore wind turbine can produce a kilowatt hour of energy at almost the same price as fossil fuels. However, if wind power is to attract new investment and expand its share of the global energy market, a further decrease in the cost of energy is required.
The DKK 65 million research project is supported by the Danish Advanced Technology Foundation with DKK 33 million, and is developed between the University of Aalborg in Denmark and companies PolyTech, kk-electronic and LM Wind Power.