Presentations - WindEurope Annual Event 2024

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On the correlation of lab, field, and real-life UV exposure of materials, with focus on leading edge protection solutions

Michael Drachmann Haag, Principal Engineer, Polytech


Wind turbines all over the world are exposed to UV radiation - regardless of whether they are installed in a cold or warm climate. Despite this, UV radiation on wind turbines is often an overseen problem and can be hard to quantify for the WTG manufacturers and park owners. We present a holistic approach to testing and studying UV exposure of materials and understanding how UV affects the durability of materials, with special focus on leading edge protection (LEP) solutions. We combine laboratory and field exposure tests (from Denmark, India, Mexico, USA, and China) to quantify UV exposure and study their correlation. Furthermore, we analyze LEP materials that were previously installed on wind turbine sites in Norway, USA, and Philippines. The analysis of these shows that real-life exposure is highly dependent on the geographical location. This dependency, however, is not reflected in the testing requirements for LEP outlined in the DNV-RP-0573. As such, our study indicates that the standards in some cases require unnecessarily long UV exposure, whereas in other cases, they fail to require the necessary UV exposure tests. This can lead to potential early LEP failure despite the material meeting the DNV-RP-0573 requirements. Our UV exposure correlation study demonstrates and quantifies material change due to UV exposure and highlights a crucial factor for OEMs, developers, and wind park owners when choosing an LEP solutions for their assets globally.

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