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Santa Cruz, Calif.-based Rope Partner and blade enhancement solutions provider Bladena are joining forces to combat blade failures.

According to Rope Partner, research shows that a significant number of turbine blade failures are bond line-related, with trailing edge failures being the most common. These problems are caused by "breathing," a phenomenon caused by blade panel deformities induced by heavy loads being exerted during turbine operation.

The load changes direction relative to the blade rotation and causes the blade shell panels to bow outward, which is also known as breathing. This effect has been identified in the more mature European market, where utility-scale wind turbines have experienced longer fatigue life.

According to Rope Partner, Bladena's patented D-String technology can help wind farm owners mitigate the effects of structural cracks, de-bonding and splitting along the trailing edge.

A standard installation of D-String requires 10 to 12 string systems fastened between trailing edge panels, effectively stiffening and neutralizing the effect. This will drastically reduce or eliminate critical fatigue damage to the blade during operation, notes Rope Partner.

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