By continuing to use this site, you agree to our use of cookies. Find out more
Forum sponsored by:
Forum sponsored by Forum House Ad Zone

Recycling of Wind Turbine Blades

All Topics | Latest Posts

Search for:  in Thread Title in  
Michael Gilligan17/05/2021 09:54:41
20289 forum posts
1064 photos

The ‘total cost of ownership’ is about to improve ...



ega17/05/2021 10:51:55
2565 forum posts
203 photos

Well, I swan!

The Danes continue to punch above their weight.

Nigel Graham 217/05/2021 14:32:57
2284 forum posts
33 photos

Some blades contain wood, as well.

That staggering estimate of the mass of scrapped blades by 2050 - barely 30 years away - raises a lot of awkward questions itself. Such as -

How long does a blade typically last?- I appreciate this may be controlled by its location and typical weather conditions it experiences there.

Can they be refurbished or do the materials degrade in service?

Looking ahead beyond 2050, when petroleum becomes scarcer and less economical to find and extract, what and from what sources will be the raw-material origins of the non-metallic materials in wind-turbines and associated systems? (For new resins that will still be needed, insulating plastics, lubricating and hydraulic oils, paints.)

Just how "green" is this all going to be?

Has anyone really thought it all through?

Another JohnS17/05/2021 15:26:47
832 forum posts
56 photos

I don't know. It takes energy to get the materials to make them, then energy to make the blades, energy to move them, to place them, to remove them, to ship them back, and, finally, to take them apart.

Might it not be easier to just use less energy?

I know that it's not a popular view these days; the current trend seems to be using more energy to solve "the climate crisis".

Gosh - that reads like it's a "Baah Humbug" moment!

Mark Rand17/05/2021 16:15:33
1313 forum posts
38 photos
Posted by John Alexander Stewart on 17/05/2021 15:26:47:

I know that it's not a popular view these days; the current trend seems to be using more energy to solve "the climate crisis".

See.. there's this thing that the wind turbine drives. It's called a generator and it generates electricity Since wind is generally free (apart from that produced by the consumption of beans etc.) a lot of electricity can be generated for just the cost and energy required to make, comission, decommission and dispose of the equipment. Fossil fuelled power stations have all those costs, but they also have the cost of fuel. A 1GW coal fired power station consumes about 2-2.5 million tonnes of coal a year...

Vic17/05/2021 19:22:13
3089 forum posts
16 photos

Carbon Fibre waste has always been of concern. Many years ago someone I used to know had some parts made from offcuts of virgin carbon fibre pre-preg mat. Apparently a large percentage of the material ended up as waste in the manufacture of aircraft wings. It’s good to know this stuff can be recycled.

noel shelley17/05/2021 20:30:11
1442 forum posts
23 photos

An old school mate of mine spent 12 years at Westlands repairing and rebuilding heliopter blades so it should be possible to do something to rebuild the leading edge ! Noel

Georgineer18/05/2021 11:20:56
589 forum posts
33 photos
Posted by John Alexander Stewart on 17/05/2021 15:26:47:

... Gosh - that reads like it's a "Baah Humbug" moment!

Nothing wrong with that. Scrooge was all right until they brainwashed him.

George B.

Mike Hurley18/05/2021 13:25:19
325 forum posts
87 photos

Have any academics looked into the affect all these huge wind turbines across the planet have on the climate? ( I know studies have looked at issues with effects on migrating birds) What I'm droning on about is a sort of the 'butterfly effect' - each one causing a minute change in air flow and cumulatively 'adjust' winds that may affect climate subtley? perhaps just one tiny piece in the climate change jigsaw?

As the famous Captain Kirk used to frequently scream ' More power Scotty! ' to which the reply was ' She won't take it captain! ' , perhaps using less might be the only real answer in the end.

I think I need to get a life.


Edited By Mike Hurley on 18/05/2021 13:26:38

Michael Gilligan18/05/2021 13:40:31
20289 forum posts
1064 photos

An entirely reasonable hypothesis, Mike

... Yes, it needs serious investigation.

We still don’t understand what we are doing.


Nigel Graham 218/05/2021 22:48:55
2284 forum posts
33 photos

I fear it's not just a matter of not understanding, Michael.

None of the proposed "green energy" ideas come without big problems of their own, and when put into full worldwide context beyond "simply" making ever more electricity as if that will solve everything, the questions that dare not be asked (or are asked only to be brushed aside) become even more stark.


I don't know if vast numbers of high-power wind-turbines could affect the weather, at least within a single weather system of the sort we see, roughly 1000 miles in diameter. More to the point perhaps is that as far as I can see, no-one who should ask that, has done so,

The power expressed by a straightforwards NE Atlantic depression or anticyclone is so vast that present rates of energy extraction by wind-turbines may well be too insignificant to attract attention. Yet with no apparent end in sight for plastering the country and surrounding seas with these machines, it is time the awkward questions are asked.


About 3 or 4 years ago I attended a public lecture on tidal-turbines. These are not barrage-scheme machines but the submarine equivalent of wind-turbines, anchored to the sea-floor in areas with steady but reasonably powerful tidal flows. It seems the UK is one of the world's leading countries, not in making these but R&D into them - but of course we've been told wind-"farms" - and covering real farms with solar panels - are the only way to go.

The speaker, from Bournemouth University if I recall correctly, showed some figures predicting known world coal and petroleum reserves' lives at present rates. They gave no more than about 100 years for coal, 50 for crude-oil. That obviously cannot account for deposits not yet found but the increasing difficulty hence cost of discovering and extracting these minerals, against dropping demand for fuels, suggests the likelihood of such discovery and extraction receding considerably even while the stuff is still quite abundant.

Whose figures though? Greenpeace's? The US or Chinese governments'? EDF's? No - a company you might expect to be a lot more optimistic about future mineral reserves, from their point of view: BP.

When you consider why I italicised minerals and fuels, you see what I mean about the sort of questions that dare not speak their name. Very, very basic questions, no more than school geography-lesson level - but ones that appear never to occur to most politicians, many campaigners and even that young lady from Sweden.

Michael Gilligan18/05/2021 23:50:00
20289 forum posts
1064 photos
Posted by Nigel Graham 2 on 18/05/2021 22:48:55:

I fear it's not just a matter of not understanding, Michael.



I think we are in agreement, Nigel

Mine was intended as a sweeping statement:

We are [i.e. mankind is] rushing around in a panic, because ‘The end of the World is nigh’ ... doing stuff without understanding the implications.

I sometimes think about the Myxomatosis disaster ...


Neil Wyatt19/05/2021 15:34:46
19076 forum posts
736 photos
80 articles
Posted by Mike Hurley on 18/05/2021 13:25:19:

Have any academics looked into the affect all these huge wind turbines across the planet have on the climate?


I read a paper that said the impact over the first ten years of a massive investment in wind was worse than coal or oil. Over a thousand years the impact of wind power was massively less. It even looked at effects on atmospheric mixing and local climate change around turbines.


All Topics | Latest Posts

Please login to post a reply.

Magazine Locator

Want the latest issue of Model Engineer or Model Engineers' Workshop? Use our magazine locator links to find your nearest stockist!

Find Model Engineer & Model Engineers' Workshop

Sign up to our Newsletter

Sign up to our newsletter and get a free digital issue.

You can unsubscribe at anytime. View our privacy policy at

Support Our Partners
Eccentric Engineering
Eccentric July 5 2018
Rapid RC
Subscription Offer

Latest "Wanted" Ads
Get In Touch!

Do you want to contact the Model Engineer and Model Engineers' Workshop team?

You can contact us by phone, mail or email about the magazines including becoming a contributor, submitting reader's letters or making queries about articles. You can also get in touch about this website, advertising or other general issues.

Click THIS LINK for full contact details.

For subscription issues please see THIS LINK.

Digital Back Issues

Social Media online

'Like' us on Facebook
Follow us on Facebook

Follow us on Twitter
 Twitter Logo

Pin us on Pinterest