Denmark and China collaborate to develop bamboo wind turbine blades  

2008.09.15
The Centre for Bamboo and Rattan in China and Denmark's national laboratory Risø DTU, are developing blades made of bamboo for small and medium-sized wind turbines up to 1 MW
In collaboration with the Centre for Bamboo and Rattan in China, Denmark's national laboratory Risø DTU is developing blades made of bamboo for small and medium-sized wind turbines up to 1 MW, reports professional journal Ingeniøren (The Engineer). The initial contact came from China, and Risø DTU hopes that the first prototype blade – made of bamboo strips coated in epoxy resin – will be ready in two years.
 
The collaboration agreement involves Risø DTU testing and certifying the bamboo material, while the Chinese centre will develop the technology needed to produce the blades. The longer-term aim is to produce the blades entirely from biodegradable resources by gradually replacing the epoxy resin with bio-based alternative glues, so that the whole blade can be landfilled and composted at the end of its service lifetime.
 
Bamboo blades are a promising idea for China, where the plant grows in profusion. And there is plenty of demand for smaller wind turbines because in many homes throughout the vast country, the only electrical fitting is an electric light. So a smaller wind turbine can cover the needs of a large numbers of houses.
 
In Europe however, there is unlikely to be much potential for bamboo blades. Economics are against it as bamboo does not grow locally; furthermore, wind turbines in Europe tend to be much bigger than 1 MW, and have much larger blades unsuited to bamboo construction.

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