Transnational Project Development Workshop on Large-Scale Additive Manufacturing for Offshore Wind Turbine Blades

22 June 2020 - Published by Stig Marthinsen

In mid-June, Periscope hosted the latest transnational project development workshop, this time covering the emerging topic of large-scale 3D printing for offshore wind turbine blades.

Similar to standard 3D printing, additive manufacturing allows for the creation of bespoke parts with complex geometries and little wastage. Ideal for rapid prototyping, the digital process means that design alterations can be done quickly and efficiently during the manufacturing process. The lack of material wastage provides cost reduction for high value parts, while it has also been shown to reduce lead times. In addition, parts that previously required assembly from multiple pieces can be fabricated as a single object which can provide improved strength and durability. Additive manufacturing can also be used to fabricate unique objects or replacement pieces where the original parts are no longer produced. Additive manufacturing is just now starting to be considered for the offshore renewables market.

Hosted by South Norway European Office, the transnational project development workshop brought together researchers and industrial players in the offshore arena from Norway, The Netherlands, Denmark and the UK. 

Initiated by a Dutch company, who contacted the Periscope network for support in developing the idea and identifying potential partnerships, wide-ranging discussion took place. Various presentations were made including state of the art in AM for maritime and offshore applications, and ending up with an identification of the opportunity space for AM in offshore wind.

Stig Marthinsen, CEO of South Norway European Office commented, “This topic is particularly current given that Norway has just opened two areas for offshore wind power developments in the North Sea, and Crown Estate Scotland has launched the up to 10GW ScotWind offshore wind leasing round, the first in Scottish waters for a decade. Offshore wind power offers great opportunities for businesses around the North Sea."

There was much input and discussion on market opportunities and application areas, including economical and technical feasibility.

The transnational project development workshop concluded with the steps needed to make the opportunities happen, including an overview of potential funding streams.

The online event was highly successful in advancing understanding and innovating within this nascent opportunity space.