Some time ago the world started to focus on renewable energies. With this came large wind farms with installations that could supply the energy required. Now, decades later, these installations are starting to become obsolete. What happens to wind farms once they have fulfilled their purpose? In today's post we tell you about some of the initiatives aiming to give wind turbines a second life!
One way to reuse these components is by repowering wind farms, i.e. using old wind turbines in new installations. This allows the service life of wind turbines to be extended by five to ten years.
Another proposed option is to recycle the disused parts of the wind turbine. All the materials used in wind turbines can be recycled and reused as components for other parts, except for one: the nacelle. This element is made of steel and coated with glass fibres and, due to its composition, cannot be recycled. Therefore, there are some parts of the installation, such as the upper part of the tower and the blades, which can only be recycled using one of three recycling processes: mechanical, thermal or chemical. This option involves a significant waste of resources, which goes against the goal of renewable energy.
Superuse: a creative initiative
A group of architects have founded a very creative initiative to reuse wind turbine blades: incorporating the blades of obsolete wind turbines in urban architecture, reconverting them into urban design elements, for example in a children's playground. Check out the Superuse project.
Waste-free wind energy
Having considered the challenges involved in recycling, some wind turbine manufacturers are now working on the development of 100% recyclable blades. Some companies have already launched the first recyclable solutions on the market.
Sources of information: