Composite tidal turbine blades can now be stress tested at FastBlade, a new facility opened in Rosyth that will speed up the development of marine energy technologies.
In under three months FastBlade – a partnership between The University of Edinburgh and Babcock International Group International – will simulate the stresses placed on their tidal turbine blades during two decades at sea. To do so, Fastblade’s 75-tonne reaction frame will exert powerful forces on turbine blades over 50 feet long via a system of hydraulic cylinders.
In doing so, it will replicate the complex forces to which tidal turbines are exposed at sea using digital and hydraulic technology systems developed by engineers at Edinburgh University.
The facility, funded by EPSRC and Edinburgh University, has received support from Edinburgh Innovations, the University’s commercialisation service, throughout its development.
As well as tidal blades, FastBlade’s technology can also be used to test lightweight bridge sections and aircraft wing components. It is the first facility to open in a recently launched multi-partner innovation centre at Babcock’s Rosyth site.
The Arrol Gibb Innovation Campus (AGIC) will work with companies in the marine, nuclear power and energy-transition sectors to transform large-scale manufacturing through innovation and skills development.