INNOVATIVE WIND TURBINE BLADE MANUFACTURING
HOW GE’S LARGEST WIND TURBINES BECOME REALITY WITH LM WIND POWER
The Cutting Edge: A Look Inside LM Wind Power’s Turbine Blade Manufacturing Facility - The Castellón province in Spain may be a tourist destination for its cave paintings, but it’s hot and dry climate attracted something else the region—LM Wind Power, who saw it as a great location for their factory construct high power wind turbines. The facility creates and manufactures the massive wind turbine blades that make up such an important part of GE Renewable Energy’s turbines. Not surprisingly, when understanding how wind turbines are built, you will find its no small feat.
The wind turbine construction plant, which now employs more than 600 workers (a number double what it was from just two years ago), didn’t always create some of the largest wind turbine blades of today. Ten years ago, around the time the factory was built, workers were manufacturing wind turbine blades that measured around 37.3 meters. Compare that to the 73.5-meter blades that LM Wind Power now makes, and you’ll see it’s not just the workforce that’s doubled.
Each wind turbine blade takes two days and 100 employees to manufacture. The process to assemble a wind turbine is carefully orchestrated—there’s a lot to manage, including the wind turbine materials. First, workers make the blades from fiberglass fabric and balsa wood. Then, the blade is covered with an airtight foil, and the team installs a network of tubes that pumps in and distributes the resin that will hold it together.
Following that, more work is done on the mold, ensuring that pressure, temperature, and vacuum levels inside are maintained. The team uses lasers to make sure each blade is properly curved. After that, the blade is coated to protect it from dust particles and water droplets, and helping it reach the right speeds. Wind turbine blade transportation includes an enormous convoy, which is used to take the blades to a wind farm.
The way wind turbines are made is a process comprising tens of thousands of details, but the result is a product that makes energy possible for millions of people around the world. And with the LM Wind Power team getting ready to help make the blades for the world’s most powerful offshore wind turbine, GE Renewable Energy’s Haliade-X, the company shows that thinking big always pays off.
Learn more about LM Wind Power’s innovative wind turbine blades and manufacturing by contacting us today.