Reblading: a technological innovation project

ERG is the first wind farm owner to install also new wind turbines.

The Reblading project, an innovative and ambitious initiative aimed at wind farms, was brought to fruition in the first half of 2019 with ERG's successful installation of new blades on 20 turbines in the Avigliano wind farm in Basilicata. The project provides for the replacement of the original blades, produced by the manufacturer over 20 years ago, with a new blade, which is innovative both in terms of its materials and its aerodynamic design.

The new blade offers improvements in performance and producibility, enabling the existing turbine to be modernised. For this reason, during the maintenance activities, replacements were carried out of the components and systems that regulate the position of the nacelle and the blades (lever mechanisms) and are necessary for correct operation.

The most interesting element of the project is the newly installed blade: produced using different methods and materials to the existing blades, it is also around a metre longer and has an optimized aerodynamic profile. In addition to the traditional fibreglass used for the composite of the original blade, the new blade uses carbon fibre, which enables the construction of a more streamlined and high-performing shape.
Avigliano Wind Farm Reblading - Watch the video
Thanks to the efficient and meticulous management of the preliminary phases of the project, the monitoring activities did not highlight any particular issues. The only difficulty regarded the need to approach each individual phase of the works with the knowledge that the standard equipment and movements would no longer be appropriate, given that the measurements and weights of the new blades were substantially different.

The replacement of the blades, which altered the technical balance calibrations of the turbine, resulted in the need to modify the control system, introducing a new system able to interface directly with the centralised management and control systems.

Thanks to the new blades, new linkages and the new control system, the resulting turbine is structurally new and requires its own patent and trademark, in line with current EC standards.

Once the new technical data sheet had been drawn up for the new machine, the turbine ownership was transferred: ERG officially became the producer and manufacturer of the new turbine with 49 metre rotor. Analyses and calibrations are currently underway to confirm the anticipated increase in performance.

   

20 turbines certified with new blades and controllers
 
60 blades replaced
60 blade bearings replaced

5,800 hours/man for blade and controller assembly


full revision of all mechanical components connected to the blades
 

400 hours/man for pre-assembly
at the blade production factory

 
0 accidents/injuries