This lecture introduced structural engineers to analysis and design methods for decommissioned wind turbine blades according to existing and anticipated building codes for FRP structures.
The first generation of FRP composite wind turbine blades are coming out of service. Repurposing these blades in structures provides an exciting opportunity for structural engineers.
Wind turbine blades are highly engineered advanced composite material structures ranging from 15 m to 100+ m long and weighing from 1 to 50 tonnes each. Currently, blades are disposed of in landfills or incinerated, ground up for filler, or used in cement kilns as part of the feedstock.
Repurposing the decommissioned blades in buildings and infrastructure is a sustainable alternative to disposal or downcycling and aligns with current circular economy principles. The lecture discussed current research and prototype structures developed by the Re-Wind Network.
- Learn about current and future wind blade decommissioning in the UK
- Understand the need for sustainable End-of-Life solutions for wind blades
- Discover how to determine the material and structural properties of a wind blade for repurposing
- Learn about the use of EU code-based design procedures for FRP composite structures and how they can be applied to wind blades
- Learn about current demonstration projects being conducted in the UK, Ireland and the US by the Re-Wind team
Structural Engineers, Civil Engineers, Construction Engineers and Architects interested in reuse and repurposing of building materials and systems.
Lawrence Bank is the lead investigator on the Re-Wind Project – a multi-national, multi-institutional research and development project developing solutions for the End-of-Life of fibre reinforced polymer (FRP) wind turbine blades. He is a licensed Professional Engineer and a Distinguished Member of the American Society of Civil Engineers. He is currently a Research Engineer at Georgia Institute of Technology in Atlanta USA. He received his PhD from Columbia University in 1985.
Kieran Ruane is a lecturer at the Department of Civil, Structural and Environmental Engineering at Munster Technological University, Cork, Ireland. He is a Chartered Engineer with over 25 years’ experience in the design and delivery of award-winning civil and structural engineering works of all scales. Kieran is a former Director of RPS Consulting Engineers where he was responsible for civil design services across a range of disciplines. He is President of the Civil Engineering Research Association of Ireland for 2021 and 2022 and was Chairperson of the Institution of Structural Engineers (Republic of Ireland Regional Group) in 2018 and 2019.
Structural analysis and design with decommissioned wind turbine blades