The formulator and supplier of bio-epoxy resin systems Sicomin, Châteauneuf les Martigues/France, is collaborating with Greenboats GmbH, Bremen/Germany, to deliver the first natural fiber composite (NFC) nacelle for an offshore wind turbine. Working with distributor Time Out Composites oHG, Bornheim-Sechtem/Germany, Sicomin has provided GreenPoxy bio-based resins, intumescent FR gelcoats and UV resistant clear coatings for the groundbreaking new nacelle.
With more than 2.5 million tons of composite materials in use in the wind industry globally, and the first generation of wind turbines now approaching end of life, there is still a lack of well-established recycling options.
In 2020, Greenboats was commissioned by a leading wind energy technology developer to design and manufacture a sustainable NFC nacelle. The resulting 7.3 m long structure has a surface area of approx. 100 m² and was engineered by to satisfy all DNV-GL load cases required for an offshore turbine nacelle, including 200 km/h max. wind loads and 2KN loads on the guard rails.
Sicomin’s DNV-GL type approved bio-based epoxy was used to infuse BComp flax fiber reinforcements and balsa cores, with its intumescent weatherproof gelcoat applied on the outer surface. Cured panels were cut to shape, formed over a male plug and bonded together, before flax reinforcement plies, hand laminated with GreenPoxy resins and vacuum bagged, were added along all the panel joints lines. Finally, Sicomin’s highly UV resistant clear coating products were used to protect and enhance the finish of the flax fiber feature stripe details.