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Sailing Technology Inspires New Cloth Blades For Wind Farms

29th July 2018
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ACT Blade uses technology developed by AMAR Azure for its racing yacht sails ACT Blade uses technology developed by AMAR Azure for its racing yacht sails

#SeaPower - Edinburgh-based ACT Blade has designed a textile blade for wind turbines that could increase energy production by nearly 10%.

The company, an offshoot of racing yacht sail specialist AMAR Azure, designed the blade as part of the Offshore Renewable Energy (ORE) Catapult’s Innovation Challenge.

ORE Catapult then led a study that identified the company’s technology could be used to produce a textile blade up to 50% lighter and 30% stiffer than conventional fibreglass equivalents, said ACT Blade’s Sabrina Malpede.

“I didn’t have knowledge of the renewable energy sector and needed to qualify my theory with sector experts,” she added.

“From these insights we were able to create the ACT Blade, the world’s first textile blade, capable of capturing more energy than a fibreglass blade by covering a larger swept area, significantly increasing annual production.”

ACT Blade says the design has the potential to increase energy production by 9.7% and reduce the levelised cost of energy by 8.7%.

ORE Catapult research and innovation project manager Vicky Coy said: “This is just one example of how technology can be adapted from one sector to create something genuinely groundbreaking in another industry.

“There are very few innovations in any field that deliver such a dramatic performance improvement with one fell swoop. This is a tremendous opportunity not just for ACT Blade, but for the UK to establish a new textile blade supply chain for the global marketplace.”

Published in Power From the Sea
MacDara Conroy

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MacDara Conroy

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MacDara Conroy is a contributor covering all things on the water, from boating and wildlife to science and business

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