Wind generator vanes can suffer degradation by erosion,particularly at their outer edge, produced by particles (dust, sand,etc.) which are present suspended in the air. Because of this, the everincreasing presence of wind parks in zones of extreme climate make itputs an onus on optimising the protection coating material, with theaim of guaranteeing good yields, even in the most extreme conditions.
Themain parameters that affect this phenomenon are, on the one hand,gel-coat characteristics (type, hardness, thickness) and linealvelocity of the vane; on the other hand, the concentration and typo(hardness, granulometry) of the abrasive particles. Of course, the timeof exposure of the vanes to an aggressive environment is thedetermining factor for the appearance of this effect.
Theoptimisation of gel-coat characteristics on wind generator vanes hasbeen the main objective of the project in which INASMET, Basquetechnological center, has participated with in conjunction with vanemanufacturers, FIBERBLADE.
The project is based on the study andquantification of the properties and characteristics of the gel-coathabitually employed with vanes and the various systems of alternativeprotection. The factors selected as most relevant for a good protectionagainst external agents were: erosion, adherence, flexibility,lengthening of break, hardness and resistance to atmospheric agents.
Oneof the main activities pf this project was the development of specifictrials in which the determining erosion factors are reproduced in avery realistic manner. The end aim is to enable a comparison oflaboratory tests on various coatings to determine which is the mostsuitable to counter the effects of erosion.
The characterisationof specifications of the protection systems was undertaken using a testmatrix, the comparative results of which have enabled the enhancementof gel-coat behaviour in aggressive environments in countering erosion,providing greater adherence and flexibility and less absorption ofwater than with the gel-coat usually employed.
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