Advances in Materials Science and Applications          
Advances in Materials Science and Applications(AMSA)

Book Preface

Recent Advances in
Composite Materials for Wind Turbine Blades

Release date: December 20, 2013 | ISBN: 978-0-9889190-0-6 | Editor: Brahim Attaf | Publisher: The World Academic Publishing Co., Ltd

In today’s modern society, global efforts have been made to fight against climate change issues through new and concrete actions that target the reduction and limitation of greenhouse gas emissions. Among these actions are the development and implementation of new and renewable energy sources, such as wind energy. This low-carbon solution, taken as an alternative over other less environmentally friendly energies, will open up great perspectives for the development of clean electricity production and assurance of new security of energy supply. However, the management of this process cannot be achieved without taking into account the societal, economic and environmental key pillars that are characterizing the sustainable development concept in which the wind energy system is embedded.

It is in this context that the idea of the book project was launched, aiming to learn about the latest scientific achievements and provide readers worldwide access to research developments in the field of composite materials that will shape the future evolution of wind turbine blades. In line with these research and innovation strategies, chapters proposed by contributors involve R&D and address new solutions in response to the major challenges that the wind turbine blade industry is facing today and those to which it will be encountering in the future. In fact, these issues will be carried out with the promotion of technological innovation for the development of large scale blades for onshore and offshore applications using future fibre-reinforced composite materials made from carbon nanotubes, for instance. In this perspective, it is expected that in the coming years blade designers will reach a nominal output power of 10-20 MW for the next generation of offshore wind turbines. Further to this technological progress, it is planned for the year 2020 to develop and test 15-20 MW turbine prototypes!

To support this sustainable energy policy, several scientific and technological research contributions have been proposed from both spaces of academia and industry. Nevertheless, only chapters that are fully in line with the objectives of the book were selected. To this end, the book provides recent research results obtained by numerical approaches and/or experimental investigations, namely in the field of structural design, manufacturing processes, testing techniques, finite element modelling, characterization of new materials, fluid-structure interaction, stress analysis, modal analysis, fatigue prediction and so forth. These innovative topics will undoubtedly strengthen the capacity of wind energy systems and will respond effectively to the new challenges of technology for designing multi-megawatt wind turbines. In addition, open access book chapters will provide readers with wide-reaching studies on the subject matter and therefore can help designers, manufacturers and suppliers to increase their competitiveness and productivity, which will consolidate the energy efficiency strategy for 2020 and the longer term.

At the same time, I hope that the variety of selected chapters will stimulate future research activities, enhance technology transfer, promote the dissemination of results and respond effectively to the challenges of energy efficiency by giving much more attention to: (i) the chemical substances used, (ii) the search for clean manufacturing processes, (iii) the creation of repair and recycling techniques, (iv) the establishment of qualification/certification procedures, (v) the implementation of new eco-standards, and so forth.

It is in collaboration with active authors in their best research work that this book has been edited. So, I am very pleased to have this opportunity to thank all the authors for their remarkable contributions in their areas of expertise. I also appreciate the resulting synergy between theory and practice coming from different countries of the world. Without this rich variety of relevant contributions, the existence of the book titled “Recent Advances in Composite Materials for Wind Turbine Blades” would not have been possible. Finally, I would like to acknowledge the help given by the staff of Advances in Materials Science & Applications (AMSA), especially Ms. Ariel Huang for her assistance and support during the period of preparation of this book.

December 2013

Dr. Brahim Attaf