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Chinese Academy of Science (CAS) Xinjiang Institute of Physical and Chemistry Technology Research Institute have made analysis on the feasibility and unique advantages of carbon nanotubes / polymer nanocomposites used as the materials for wind turbine blade manufacturing.
The wind turbine blade is an important part of the wind turbine. Its cost accounts for more than 20% of the wind turbine manufacturing. In recent years, with the sustained growth of wind energy development worldwide, large size and super large size wind turbine blades (with a length more than 70 meter) has become the mainstream direction for the development of wind power.Wind turbine blade has been affected by combined action of multiple external loads in service (including bending, compression, tension, etc.) so it has very high requirements for the material stiffness, strength, fatigue resistance, and mechanical performance.Wind turbine blade material selection should also consider material factors such as workability, density, environmental stability. High performance blade material development model is very important to improve the overall performance of the wind turbine.Chinese Academy of Science (CAS) Xinjiang Institute of Physical and Chemistry Technology Research Institute has an environment science and technology polymer composite materials team. The team has made analysis on the feasibility and unique advantages of carbon nanotubes / polymer nanocomposites used as the materials for wind turbine blade manufacturing.Carbon nanotubes (CNTs) are a kind of tubular one-dimensional nano material with excellent mechanical, electrical, and thermal properties. By adding a small amount of CNTs in the polymer matrix (The carbon nanotubes / polymer nanocomposites has many unique functional properties. For example, the introduction of nano fillers can improve the mechanical properties of the composites such as modulus, strength, toughness, and fatigue resistance. This enhanced effect is very difficult or almost impossible to be achieved on the traditional polymer composites.The addition of the carbon nano materials (the picture above) in the wind turbine blade materials - fiber reinforced composite (FRP) component (fiber or matrix) can improve the properties of the matrix and the interfacial interaction between the fibers and the FRP matrix, and then provides the possibility to improve the overall performance of wind turbine blades.In addition, the researchers analyzed the environmental stability of CNT/ polymer nano composites, it is pointed out that the performance of this kind of material is expected to improve the lightning protection of wind turbine blades, as well as the anti-moisture, anti-heat properties and so on. The sensing material designed with the CNTs of the excellent electrical properties can be used for the detection of wind turbine blades internal structure defects that provides a new way to forecast blade’s service life.The study was published in the Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews, 2014, 30: 651-660. This work has obtained funding from the Chinese Academy of Sciences "Western light" and Chinese "one thousand people plan" projects.More information:www.cas.cnOriginal language Chinese