WindLEDeRR Project (2022-2024)
The WindLEDeRR project will develop a comprehensive decision-making tool for end-of-life wind turbines in Ireland, examining lifetime extension, anomaly detection, fatigue assessment, repurposing, and sustainable decommissioning. WindLEDeRR is funded by Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland (SEAI): National Energy Research Development and Demonstration (RD&D) Funding Programme 2021.
Main Focus

There will be a significant number of wind turbines in Ireland reaching their end of life beyond 2025. This is estimated as 500 turbines by 2025 and 1000 turbines by 2030. Therefore, the wind industry needs to prepare for a significant upcoming challenge where an appropriate decision needs to be made about aging wind assets.

MTU team will work on WindLEDeRR WP6, focusing on development of the protocol for repurposing of composite materials used in blades of Irish wind farms. When the wind turbines reach their end-of-life and decommissioning or repowering is decided, an important challenge is suitable disposal of the non-biodegradable blades in current wind turbines, made of thermosetting fiber reinforced polymer (FRP) composite materials. There have been a few studies in recent years showing that wind turbine blades can be repurposed for infrastructure applications. Historically, the manufacturers of wind turbine blades have not made the full structural details of their blades available to third parties.  This has resulted in the need for detailed destructive and non-destructive testing of decommissioned blades to fully establish the parameters needed for design of repurposed structural solution.   If repurposing of decommissioned blades is to become viable on a large scale, then there is a need to develop an efficient protocol to ensure that a decision may be quickly reached if a blade is suitable for repurposing or not. 

This project will run over a 3-year period and is coordinated by University College Dublin (UCD).

The total project value is €628,265, of which MTU is awarded €107,875.

BladeBridge on the new Midleton to Youghal Greenway (Image courtesy of Mr Kieran Ruane)

MTU Project Lead and Team:
Research Partners