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Transporting webs for wind turbine blades

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000250240D
Publication Date: 2017-Jun-15
Document File: 3 page(s) / 186K

Publishing Venue

The IP.com Prior Art Database

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Transporting webs for wind turbine blades

Many wind turbine blades are made using resin and fibre composite material technology in an outer shell, and having an inner load-bearing structure in the form of a beam such as a spar or in the form of one or more webs. These internal, load-bearing structures extend between the windward and leeward shells. In general, these load-bearing structures are made also from composite material. Many blade reinforcement webs are manufactured in the same location as the shells. In some cases, it can be desirable to manufacture webs at another location possibly necessitating shipping of the webs to a blade manufacture location.

Webs are generally in the form of a beam having a cross-section in the form of a “C” beam or “I” beam or “L” or “T” beam. These beams have a characteristic that they are stiff in their primary plane and often flexible in a direction transverse to it. When transported individually, these beams may generally be held with their primary plane upright or near vertical so that their primary plane and primary stiffness direction provides support in a gravity direction. If transported in larger numbers, e.g. in batches of multiple webs, these may be positioned side-by-side, and close together to save space.

It may be preferred to position spacers between the webs, to keep them in position and to prevent them from damaging each other. The above figure shows a cross section view through an end of a container with wind turbine blade webs arranged inside, separated by spacers.

When removing webs from a container, this is normally done using lifting equipment, owing to the large size of these elements, which extends to more than 20m or 30m or 40m or more in length, and perhaps up to 2m or up to 4m in height. Typically these webs have a root end which is if the order of 2m or more in height, extending towards a mid- or tip-end which may be of a smaller height dimension, perhaps as little as less than 1m.

When lifting the webs from the container, the webs can tend to interfere with each other during vertical extraction by lifting means. In some instances, the flanges can snag against those of a

spacer

web

Web

container

Transporting webs for wind turbine blades

neighbouring web or against the spacers. This can lead to obstruction of the extraction process or to damage to webs.

The above figure shows a container being lifted by a crane. The container contains webs in a vertical orientation. The webs are thereby supported by the crane and support themselves under the effect of gravity. Web removal can be more difficult in this orientation.

In order to avoid this, it is proposed to turn the container before placing it on a surface for extraction of the webs. This will present the webs in a horizontal orientation, allowing them to be extracted using a lifting means such...