Construction and cost analysis of bladebridges made from decommissioned FRP wind turbine blades

Kieran Ruane, Marios Soutsos, An Huynh, Zoe Zhang, Angela Nagle, Kenny McDonald, T Russell Gentry, Paul Leahy, Lawrence C. Bank*, Jorge de Brito (Editor)

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)
85 Downloads (Pure)

Abstract

This paper describes repurposing projects using decommissioned wind turbine blades in bridges conducted under a multinational research project entitled “Re-Wind”. Repurposing is defined by the Re-Wind Network as the re-engineering, redesigning, and remanufacturing of a wind blade that has reached the end of its life on a turbine and taken out of service and then reused as a load-bearing structural element in a new structure (e.g., bridge, transmission pole, sound barrier, seawall, shelter). The issue of end-of-life of wind turbine blades is becoming a significant sustainability concern for wind turbine manufacturers, many of whom have committed to the 2030 or 2040 sustainability goals that include zero-waste for their products. Repurposing is the most sustainable end-of-life solution for wind turbine blades from an environmental, economic, and social perspective. The Network has designed and constructed two full-size pedestrian/cycle bridges—one on a greenway in Cork, Ireland and the other in a quarry in Draperstown, Northern Ireland, UK. The paper describes the design, testing, and construction of the two bridges and provides cost data for the bridges. Two additional bridges that are currently being designed for construction in Atlanta, GA, USA are also described. The paper also presents a step-by-step procedure for designing and building civil structures using decommissioned wind turbine blades. The steps are: project planning and funding, blade sourcing, blade geometric characterization, material testing, structural testing, designing, cost estimating, and construction.
Original languageEnglish
Article number3366
JournalSustainability
Volume15
Issue number4
Early online date12 Feb 2023
DOIs
Publication statusEarly online date - 12 Feb 2023

Keywords

  • Article
  • wind turbine blades
  • bridges
  • repurposing
  • case studies
  • FRP materials

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