A partnership between Vestas Wind Systems and Bristol University aims to develop new composites for wind turbines. Research will focus on the manufacturing of blades, smart materials and lightweight structures.
Bristol’s academic team will be headed by Dr Paul Weaver, director of the university’s Advanced Composites Centre for Innovation and Science’s (ACCIS) Doctoral Training Centre. He will lead a research team incorporating academic staff, post-doctoral researchers and PhD students.
In a statement, Dr Weaver said that he was delighted to be able to extend the expertise of the university’s researchers beyond aerospace to the renewables sector, and looked forward to applying their skills on design, analysis and manufacture of advanced composites to the wind turbine market.
The composites centre will form part of the Vestas Innovation Network, a worldwide network of researchers working in the US, UK, Singapore, China and Denmark.
The Bristol-based partnership will act as a focus for the company’s composites research, and researchers at Bristol will liaise closely with Vestas researchers across the globe, but particularly at the Vestas Blade Research Centre on the Isle of Wight.
Earlier this year, Vestas announced that it would also be collaborating with US aircraft builder Boeing on joint research projects.
Representatives of the two companies said they were exploring possible collaborative technology research projects in areas such as aerodynamics, structural health monitoring, composite materials fabrication processes, design and analysis.