The design of advanced (composite) wind turbine blades continues to evolve, but central spar-like structures and bonded cores remain the primary load-bearing and profile supporting elements. Aside from structural inefficiencies, these configurations are complex and expensive to manufacture using existing processes. Construction methods, composite-metal connections and loading complexities present challenges for structural integrity, resulting in over-engineering, increased weight and variable reliability.

The HPC-Blade Project addresses all of these issues by pursuing a novel design and manufacturing solution for blade structures. The concept is drawn from expertise held within eStress Limited, UK - structural analysis specialists within the aerospace industry. The HPC-Blade assembly facilitates the following technology shifts: progression from a spar and core configuration to a rib-based fully stressed blade skin; elimination of mechanically fastened or bonded composite-metal joints; an optimised and appropriate synthesis of composite and metallic materials.

  This project has received funding from the European Union's Seventh Framework Programme for research, technological development and demonstration under grant agreement no [605543].