With the installation of three prototype blades at the Energy Technology Centre in Glasgow, ACT has reached a “significant milestone” in the development of its technology. After a year-long Covid-related delay to the company’s original plans, the three 13-metre components, installed on a 225kW Vestas V27 turbine, began functioning late last month.
Both the blades and the turbine are equipped with instrumentation that allow ACT to collect data on a variety of performance factors. According to managing director Sabrina Malpede, the prototype will be operational for at least five weeks.
“The goal of this test programme is to discover how the ACT blade acts on the turbine as well as to prove to the industry that it can work reliably. It will allow us to collect performance data and see if there are any flaws that we were unable to uncover in previous tests.”
According to Malpede, the Energy Technology Centre has enlisted the help of a specialised company to independently validate the data in accordance with industry norms.
A fourth ACT blade passed static, fatigue, and post-static tests at the ORE Catapult Blade test facility in Blyth earlier in 2021. In preparation for deployment at the Glasgow location, that programme simulated real-world offshore wind conditions to verify the blade’s structural integrity and durability.