U.S. Department of Energy - Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy
Supporting Wind Turbine Manufacturing
The STAR wind turbine blade developed by Knight and Carver with the DOE Wind Program is outfitted with equipment that will test its endurance and performance.
Innovative Blade Design Reduces Loads, Increases Energy Capture
During the past few years, the program has worked with blade manufacturer Knight and Carver to develop an innovative wind turbine blade design that is the first of its kind to be produced at a utility-grade size. Made of fiberglass and epoxy resin, the Sweep Twist Adaptive Rotor (STAR) blade is 89 feet long. Its unique shape curves toward the trailing edge to reduce fatigue loads and increase energy capture.
The Wind Program works with U.S. manufacturers to develop advanced blade designs, fabrication techniques, and automation processes that will enable wind turbines to capture more energy and help blade manufacturers increase their component production capabilities.
Developing New Blade Designs
The program's blade manufacturing research includes work to develop:
- More efficient turbine structures, such as blade designs that fully integrate structure and aerodynamics
- Adaptive structures, such as passive bend-twist coupling
- Design details to minimize stress concentrations
- Less expensive blade root attachment devices