Under its current five-year plan, China aims at doubling its wind and solar power output by 2025. That is why also the drive for technological progress in the field of renewable energies has never been stronger. Polyurethane (PU) resin, an innovative manufacturing solution for wind turbine blades, has penetrated the epoxy-dominated market in recent years. Covestro and Zhuzhou Times New Material Technology (TMT), a pioneering PU wind turbine manufacturer, recently announced the launch of their 1000th PU wind turbine blade.
PU in wind-blade production is a transformative innovation delivered by Covestro teams around the globe. With better mechanical properties, an efficient production process, and a more cost-effective production solution than conventional fiberglass-reinforced epoxy blades, PU blades are opening a new chapter in the wind blade industry.
Covestro and TMT signed a memorandum of cooperation about a year ago, based on which significant commercialization results have been achieved. PU wind turbines are now being used in commercial wind farms throughout China.
Dr. Binbin Hou, General Manager of Wind Business at TMT, said, "PU wind blades cater to the growing demand for longer wind blade designs. We hope to further collaborate with Covestro to improve the competitiveness of wind energy through continuous technology innovation."
"We are very pleased to reach the important milestone of the launch of the 1000th blade with TMT," said Christine Bryant, Global Head of the Tailored Urethanes Business Entity at Covestro. "We believe that industrial collaboration is fundamental to addressing global warming and energy shortage issues, and it is also an important part of Covestro's commitment to a circular economy."
TMT produces PU wind blades ranging from 59.5 meters to 94 meters in length with different blade designs and layup structures to meet the growing demand for longer and larger wind blades. The 94-meter wind turbine blade, capable of generating 8 MW of energy, is the largest PU application for Covestro so far. Multiple TMT factories manufacture these blades under different temperatures, humidity, and altitude, proving the wide applicability of PU resin in the manufacturing process.
Dr. Xuebin Feng, R&D Director of Wind Business at TMT, said, "We overcame many technical challenges to accelerate the production process of large polyurethane resin wind blades and achieve mass production."
In addition to wind turbine development, Covestro and TMT have jointly developed PU railway sleepers, which are more durable and cost-effective in maintenance than traditional wood and concrete sleepers. Covestro, an integrated PU solution provider, will cooperate with TMT to provide various PU resins, coatings, and PU machinery solutions.