The last two decades has seen rapid growth in the wind power industry worldwide, to become one of the most economic sources of renewable energy. Wind turbines are expected to have an operational life of approximately 20 to 25 years. Over the coming years, the first generations of wind turbines will be reaching the end of their service life or will be replaced by more efficient models. As such, the treatment of end-of-life turbines and in particular, their blades which are complex and resistant structures made of fibre-reinforced composites, represents a very important environmental issue. As the currently-used options available involve disposal via landfill or incineration, there is now a need for more environmentally sustainable solutions.
Within this context, the BRIO Project has emerged, headed up by Iberdrola with two highly-regarded Basque Country-based centres of technology as partners: the Gaiker-IK4 Centre of Technology and the Tecnalia Research & Innovation Foundation. With a budget of over more than €1m, BRIO is co-funded by the European Commission via its LIFE+ programme (LIFE13 contract ENV/ES/000562).
This R&D project has created a new system for recycling the blades of wind turbines from wind farms. The initiative will be applied to turbine blades that need replacing due to breakdowns and at wind farms that have reached the end of their service life. Read more…
Article published in: FuturENERGY July-August 2016