An existing wind turbine in Breuna, Germany, has been equipped with new blades fabricated by Voodin Blade Technology. The novelty of this installation is that the 9.3 m (63.3 ft) blades are composed of laminated veneer lumber (LVL).

These wooden components are touted as ideal replacements for conventional wind turbine blades composed of fiberglass and carbon fiber bound together with epoxy resin, materials that are difficult and expensive to break down. The fiberglass and epoxy resin cannot be reused but the LVL blades are reportedly 100% recyclable. Additional benefits include the release of up to 78% fewer carbon dioxide emissions and production cost declines of up to 20% compared to current solutions.

Installation of the LVL blades. Source: Voodin Blade TechnologyInstallation of the LVL blades. Source: Voodin Blade Technology

The LVL blades are manufactured with automated computer numerical control milling machines that use code to create complex 3D shapes. The technology can be used for manufacturing any type of blade without the need for molds.

Laboratory testing has demonstrated that the wooden blades are more durable than the fiberglass blades available. The LVL components also show fewer fatigue characteristics and the capacity to endure conditions encountered in onshore environments.

Voodin is now building new prototypes with larger 60 m (197 ft) and 80 m (262 ft) blades.

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