- Verdant/NREL Research Measurement Campaign

Research output: NRELPresentation


The marine renewable energy industry primarily uses thermoset composite materials for blades and other hydrodynamic components, which can have up to 50% reduction in strength when exposed to seawater and are not recyclable. Thermoplastic composite materials have been shown at a coupon-scale to have improved seawater saturated properties but have not been validated at full scale. The primary goal of the project is to demonstrate the structural properties of thermoplastic-fiberglass composite blades compared to epoxy-fiberglass composite blades in seawater at a tidal energy site on an operational turbine. Through this work, NREL manufactured, tested and deployed thermoplastic blades and a data acquisition system on Verdant Power's turbine TriFrame in the East River, NYC. The thermoplastic blades and DAQ were retrieved after a 6-month deployment with no signs of degradation and all cable connections, structural supports and strain gages had a 100% survival rate. The blades are currently undergoing post-deployment structural validation to compare their performance to traditional epoxy blades that were deployed for the same amount of time. This will increase confidence in thermoplastic materials and move it closer to commercial adoption, as well as increase confidence in the design of a DAQ and instrumentation method for a tidal turbine. However, due to an error in the DAQ software that was introduced after the DAQ and software were validated, there was no loads data collected during the deployment.
Original languageAmerican English
Number of pages13
StatePublished - 2022

Publication series

NamePresented at the U.S. Department of Energy Water Power Technologies Office (WPTO) 2022 Project Peer Review, 18-22 July 2022

NREL Publication Number

  • NREL/PR-5000-83263


  • blade testing
  • deployment
  • instrumentation
  • thermoplastic
  • tidal energy
  • turbine blade


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