New Product Announcement: Edge Protection Coating
Global coatings company Hempel recently released its new leading edge protection (LEP) coating for wind turbine rotor blades. Hempablade Edge 171 reportedly provides long-term protection against rain erosion, thus reducing time and costs during application.
According to the emailed release, the leading edge of a wind turbine blade is exposed to extremely high airflow speeds, even exceeding 300 kilometers (186.4 miles) per hour. Impact from rain at these speeds can cause significant coating erosion or composite damage.
Hempel reports that in severe cases, the erosion can lead to aerodynamic performance loss, alongside a 2% to 3% drop in Annual Energy Production. In the European offshore wind energy sector alone, this productivity loss equates to around 56-75 million euro ($55.8-$75.8 million) per year.
However, Hempablade Edge 1717 can reportedly help wind turbine operators and applicators overcome these issues.
“Hempablade Edge 171 is one of the simplest LEP solutions on the market to apply, yet able to withstand the toughest environmental conditions,” said Lars Rindom Jensen, Head of Solutions for Wind Blades. “It provides exceptional protection against rain erosion and composite damages. This extends the interval between maintenance and repairs, giving operators more uptime and lower maintenance costs.”
The coating also requires some of the lowest dry film thickness on the market at 150 microns, only needing one or two coats for high protection. This also reportedly increases application speeds, allowing customers to maintain more blades with the available resources.
“Hempablade Edge 171 has been developed as we listened to the industry challenges and requirements,” said Lars. “Its low thickness reduces LEP consumption, application time and drying time, so applicators can work faster, whether they are onsite or in the blade production.
“It also has a wide application window – from 5-35 degrees Celsius (41-95 degrees Fahrenheit) – which means applicators can extend the maintenance season and working day. The result is higher productivity and less blade downtime during maintenance.”
The company’s first LEP coating, Hempablade Edge 171 was developed using Hempel’s in-house Rain Erosion Test (RET) facility, which as been used to optimize the product development and LEP validation process since 2019.
“Hempel is recognized as the industry’s leading coatings supplier,” Lars explained. “We fully understand the challenges manufacturers, operators and maintenance companies face and are the only coatings company with an in-house RET facility.
“During development and validation, we put Hempablade Edge 171 through more than 400 exhaustive tests to ensure it delivers extremely valuable performance and application benefits. We are very proud to offer it to our customers.”
The new coating launched Monday (Sept. 19) and is available globally.