Gamesa, second-ranked European manufacturer of wind turbines and a world leader in wind energy sector, has opened a new R&D lab in Singapore, Gamesa Advanced Materials Research Center. It will focus mainly on research and commercial development of advanced materials for the construction of wind turbines. The premises are located at Nanyang Technological University (NTU) in Research Techno Plaza, waiting for the finishing of their center of 50 hectares which will be at CleanTech Park (Jurong).
This company performs design, manufacture, sale, installation and operation and maintenance of its wind turbines with about 21,000 MW installed in 30 countries on four continents and approximately 13,600 MW under maintenance. 30 plants are already present in Europe, USA, China and India. As a developer of power generation energy, Gamesa is involved in the promotion, construction, operation and sale of wind farms. Two major R&D projects have been announced, with each time different institutes and universities.
In collaboration with NTU, the research will be focused on new types of coatings for wind turbine blades and how to integrate them into the production process of Gamesa. Wind turbine blades are composite materials assembled from a matrix of carbon fiber and polymers for specific reinforcements. The behavior of these polymers will be studied closely in collaboration with the Institute of Materials Research and Engineering (IMRE), an institute of A*STAR, Singapore’s Agency for Science, Technology and Research. The objective is to improve the mechanical properties of wind turbine blades and limit their damage over time due to extreme conditions including the blades are subjected. Gamesa will work with SIMTech, another institute of A*STAR, for industrial production of these new types of composite materials.
On the other hand, in collaboration with the National University of Singapore (NUS), Gamesa will investigate how to monitor the status of wind turbine blades through the integration of smart sensors, which will help determine if distance blades are damaged and if they require a detailed inspection. This technique may in the long term, lead to saving time and labor and thus reduce maintenance costs of wind farms.
Gamesa provides more than 30 engineers based in new premises by 2014.