Techno-Economic Analysis of a Megawatt-Scale Thermoplastic Resin Wind Turbine Blade

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Abstract

Two-part, in-situ reactive thermoplastic resin systems for composite wind turbine blades have the potential to lower the blade cost by decreasing cycle times, capital costs of both tooling and equipment, and energy consumption during manufacturing, and enabling recycling at the end of the blade life. This paper describes a techno-economic model used to estimate the cost of a thermoplastic wind turbine blade relative to a baseline thermoset epoxy blade. It was shown that a 61.5-m thermoplastic blade costs 4.7% less than an equivalent epoxy blade. Even though the thermoplastic resin is currently more expensive than epoxy, this cost reduction is primarily driven by the decreased capital costs, faster cycle times, and reduced energy requirements and labor costs. Although thermoplastic technology for resin infusion of wind turbine blades is relatively new, these results suggest that it is economically and technically feasible and warrants further research.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)111-119
Number of pages9
JournalRenewable Energy
Volume131
DOIs
StatePublished - Feb 2019

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2018

NREL Publication Number

  • NREL/JA-5000-70747

Keywords

  • Composite
  • Epoxy
  • Manufacturing blade cost
  • Techno-economic model
  • Thermoplastic
  • Wind turbine

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