Metals, Chemical, Fiberglass Industries Meet to Discuss Cheaper Wind Turbine Manufacturing Options
October 24, 2001
To address the need for high-volume, low-cost components for wind turbines, with a goal of lowering the overall cost of wind power, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Offices of Power Technologies and Industrial Technologies (OPT and OIT) co-sponsored a technology forum, Supplying Advanced Materials and Components for Wind Power Systems, on August 29, 2001 in Salt Lake City, Utah. Forty-eight attendees from aluminum, chemical, composite material, fiberglass, metal casting, plastics, and steel industries met with wind turbine manufacturers to identify useful new materials and manufacturing processes.
The forum was held in conjunction with OIT Utah 2001 Industry Showcase. The primary purpose of the workshop was to identify methods to improve the performance and lower the costs of both small and large wind power systems.
Presentations at the forum featured wind industry representatives, potential manufacturing partners, and DOE:
- Denise Swink, Deputy Assistant Secretary for Industrial Technologies at DOE, opened the meeting discussing the role for cooperation between manufacturing industries and the wind power industry.
- P.J. Dougherty from OPT presented an overview of the wind industry and DOE efforts to promote increased use of wind power generation.
- Kirk Pierce from Enron Wind described large turbine manufacturing issues and needs.
- David Jones from Southwest Windpower discussed similar issues from a small turbine manufacturer perspective.
- Dan Ancona from Princeton Energy Resources International presented a keynote Fact Sheet that projects growth in materials needed to satisfy the domestic and global markets for wind machines through 2010. This Fact Sheet is available from the OIT Clearinghouse at 1-800-862-2086.
Manufacturing presentations were given by the following individuals from the plastics, steel, composite material, and aluminum industries, respectively:
- John Ciovacco, Cyclics Corporation
- Wayne Parcel, The Timken Corporation
- Michael Sandlin, Hexcel Composites
- David Williams, Alcoa
Each presenter discussed innovative materials and processes that may benefit the wind power industry. The meeting concluded with a facilitated discussion that identified key technical needs and opportunities, strategic partnerships, and potential next steps for action.