What is Leading Edge Protection and why is it important?
The leading edge of a turbine refers to the part of the turbine blade that first contacts the air. Naturally, the leading edge of a wind turbine blade can be subjected to erosion over time as a result of environmental factors. When wind turbines are in operation, the tip of the blade can reach speeds of up to 330km/h which greatly exposes the leading edge and increases the risk of potential damage and leading edge erosion over time. In this blog we’re taking a look at why wind blade repair and turbine maintenance is crucial for increased turbine lifespan and efficiency.
What is Leading Edge Erosion?
Leading edge erosion refers to the gradual break-down of the leading-edge surface of a turbine’s blades. Over time, this can cause the blade edge to become worn and result in reduced performance. Erosion is a common issue which affects most wind turbines, particularly offshore turbines. Rain and harsh weather can erode the surface coating and protective layers, and eventually expose the blade laminate.
The impact on wind turbine efficiency
The impact of leading edge erosion can gradually cause wind turbine blades to degrade, which in turn, reduces its efficiency. This can become progressively worse over time and lead to reduced energy production, particularly if the erosion begins to affect the structural integrity of the blade. The longer that the damage is left unattended, the more costly the repairs become.
The importance of Leading Edge Protection
Leading Edge Protection (LEP) is designed to help combat the erosion of the blade edge, providing additional support for the blade.
Once installed, Leading Edge Protection can significantly improve and extend the lifespan of a blade and help to protect against harsh environments.
Although it can be installed to help wind turbine blades which have already been affected by erosion, it can also be applied as a valuable preventative measure.
Taking a proactive approach to LEP can help ensure that wind turbines are able to run efficiently for longer and reduce down-time. In turn, wind farm operators can generate more clean energy.
How can we help?
To reduce repair times and costs, it is vital that leading edge erosion is suitably managed and repaired before it becomes structural damage. Wind farm operators can maximize the lifespan of their turbines by conducting regular checks and inspections.
As wind turbine blade specialists, GEV Wind Power has the technical expertise to support all aspects of LEP and aid with turbine inspections to help keep wind turbines running efficiently. Our team of expert wind turbine technicians are able to conduct turbine maintenance, repairs and servicing across the globe.
Contact us to learn more about how GEV Wind Power can support your wind turbine requirements.
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