Wind turbine riblet coating applications

Dec 16, 2022 | Featured Article, News

Energiekontor AG, a pioneer in renewable energies since 1990 and listed on the SDAX of the German stock exchange, has teamed up with the international maintenance company Omega-Tools GmbH and BASF’s Coatings division to gradually equip its wind turbines with Novaflex BladeUp, thus making them more efficient.

With its microscopic line structures, the functional film ensures a noticeable increase in the yield of wind turbines. The riblets reduce the formation of unfavourable air turbulence on the surface of the blades, so that a larger proportion of the wind can be used for generating electricity. In a measurement campaign that has been running for about a year, an increase of up to 3% in power output was determined. For this purpose, BASF Novaflex BladeUp was installed on a 1.3MW SWT 1,300 turbine (formerly AN Bonus) in Ilsede, Lower Saxony, Germany.

“We are impressed with the significant increase in power yield with Novaflex BladeUp. This makes it all the more important that we implement this option for our plants in a timely manner and thus contribute to the energy transition,” says Carsten Schwarz, member of the Energiekontor AG Management Board. The company has awarded Omega-Tools GmbH a first contract to equip wind turbines with BASF’s film and intends to include further turbine types in the future. In the long term, Energiekontor AG wants to equip all available turbines – their own and those managed by their company – with Novaflex BladeUp.

BASF has worked closely with the Wind division of Omega-Tools GmbH to ensure that the films are professionally installed. “The subsequent application of the functional film to existing wind turbines is feasible without long plant idle times, and can be performed for every model,” explains Olaf Dostalek, Managing Director of Omega-Tools GmbH. Dostalek and his company take over the Europe-wide application of Novaflex BladeUp for Energiekontor AG turbines, and he acts as contact and sales partner for this technology in the market.

BASF is also interested in extending Novaflex BladeUp to turbines and blades from other manufacturers and other performance classes. “An integration into the manufacturing processes of the blade manufacturers would also be possible, so that new wind turbines can directly generate a higher electricity yield,” says Jörg Lenz, head of the Beyond Paint Solutions business unit at BASF.

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