Over the past 15 years, wind energy has experienced remarkable growth, positioning Europe as a leader in the global offshore wind market. Functional and structural components for offshore energy are subjected to numerous damage mechanisms on materials and coatings. Critically, corrosion and fatigue affect the lifetime of offshore structures where environmental factors such as wetness, UV radiation, abrasion and erosion have already created severe damage.
Nowadays, wind turbine blade leading-edge erosion affects annual energy production by 4-20 %. That equates to a loss between €152-760 million a year across the overall European offshore wind sector. Moreover, the maintenance of the materials is very expensive and accounts for around 25% of the offshore wind farms’ cost. In addition to that, at the end of the wind turbines’ service life, the generated waste in need of recycling can increase by up to 800,000 tonnes per year in Europe by 2050.
MAREWIND solutions will pave the way for the next generation of offshore wind generators and facilities that aim to solve the technological, economic, business, and societal challenges we are now facing. In addition, it will strengthen the leading role of Europe in the global offshore wind market with the current 22,072 MW of installed cumulative capacity, followed by Asian and North American markets.
INL is developing self-healing materials in order to protect these structures from corrosion. Self-healing materials are intelligent materials that when damaged through mechanical damage have the ability to heal and restore the material to its original set of properties.
By enhancing the materials’ durability and recyclability, and reducing maintenance in offshore structures, the project will contribute to a more economic and sustainable model of the offshore wind sector.
MAREWIND project is funded by the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme. The project is run by a consortium of 16 partners from 7 European countries, representing leading business, technological and research organizations, and institutions across Europe. All partners are working together with technological, scientific and industrial consortium partners within this project and aim to develop durable materials and recyclable solutions for the offshore wind industry while extending the service life of the wind facilities. The involved partners cover the whole value chain on offshore wind and therefore will validate prototypes, results and costs along the project under accelerated testing and in real environment.