The blades made of carbon fiber are 25% lighter than the blades made of traditional glass fiber. This means that carbon fiber blades may be longer than glass fiber blades, so more energy can be captured in places with lower winds. Sandia Laboratory’s wind energy researcher and lead researcher of the project said that switching to carbon fiber can also extend the life of the blades because carbon fiber materials have high fatigue resistance. The project was funded by the Wind Energy Technology Office of the Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy Office of the Department of Energy. Partners in this project include Oak Ridge National Laboratory and Montana State University.
Of all the companies that produce wind turbines, only one uses carbon fiber materials extensively in its blade design. Researchers say that wind turbine blades are the largest single-piece composite structure in the world. If a material that competes with glass fiber reinforced composites on a cost-value basis can be bought on the market, the wind industry can represent carbon fiber materials. The largest market for weight.