This past year saw the rapid development and usage of the BladeComp software package. BladeComp was used to analyse and optimise the structure of blades for 15 kW and 225 kW wind turbines for the NUI Galway spin-out ÉireComposites Teo. There is a strong emphasis within the team of combining cutting-edge computational modelling with full-scale structural testing. This has helped to both enhance the competitiveness of the ÉireComposites blade designs and verify the accuracy of the software.
Commenting on the project, Dr Tomás Flanagan, managing director of ÉireComposites, said:
“Models of our blades developed using BladeComp provide additional assurance to our customers and allow us to access new markets”
In a research project spanning November 2017 to June 2018 the tidal turbine blade version of the software was used to design blades for a 2 MW Orbital Marine Power tidal turbine device, which is among the largest in the world today. The test blade is currently being manufactured, involving collaboration between the Scottish turbine manufacturer, the Large Structures Research Laboratory and the NUI Galway spin-out ÉireComposites Teo.
Commenting on the blade design and testing work within the FloTEC and SEABLADE projects, Finlay Wallace, design engineer at Orbital Marine Power, said:
“Our collaborative project with MaREI and the Large Structures Research Group has accelerated the development of the next-generation O2 2MW turbine blades. The group provides access to a full design and analysis ecosystem, computational modelling and optimisation resources allowing rapid design progression. We look forward to using the world-class structural testing facilities during our next project phase.”