Good winds for Basque wind technology
The IKERLAN Research Centre is taking part in project MODEOL, led by LauLagun Bearings, manufacturer of high added value bearings
- The initiative brings together leading companies in the Basque wind energy sector such as Hine Group, Erreka, Wec, Antec, Intza and Glual
- MODEOL is supported by the Basque Government's Hazitek Estratégico R&D initiative programme in conjunction with the Energy Cluster
The wind energy sector is facing a paradigm shift, calling for greater flexibility from component manufacturers in order to offer designs that not only meet the requirements of quality and precision, but also have a high degree of modularity and are ready to be assembled in the wind turbines.
This is the context in which the Basque MODEOL project is being developed, an initiative led by the Gipuzkoa-based high added value bearings manufacturer LauLagun Bearings, with the participation of the technology centre, IKERLAN.
The project, which forms part of the Basque Government's Hazitek Estratégico R&D initiative programme, is seeking to promote the transformation of Basque wind energy component supply companies in order to meet the challenges in the industry.
MODEOL, which is backed by the Energy Cluster, is also bringing together leading Basque companies in the wind energy sector such as Hine Group, Erreka, Wec, Antec, Intza and Glual.
The project's main objective is to strengthen the position of these companies in the face of the wind energy sector revolution, through the adaptation of its designs and processes, to provide not just quality components, but also complete modules ready to be assembled in the wind turbine.
The companies taking part in the project are seeking to improve the technological response and increase the quality of the services they provide to their customers, reducing the number of links and partners among the various organisations dedicated to the manufacture of components, as well as the wind turbine manufacturers. In this way, logistics costs are reduced and the supply chain simplifies.
“The initial conclusions of the project, which has now completed its second year of operation and will continue to the end of 2019, confirm the need for manufacturers and suppliers of wind turbines to develop a modularisation strategy that ensures the rapid and continuous innovation of the product cycle", said Iker Urresti, the manager responsible for this initiative at IKERLAN. Furthermore, design capabilities and structural integrity have been developed in order to interact directly with the manufacturers during the design phase of new wind turbines.
The technology centre providing this project with the knowledge required in the field of calculation of wind loads using aeroelastic models, its expertise in the design of components and moduleand its know-how in the analysis of structural reliability.
Meanwhile, the coordinator of the initiative at LauLagun, Aitor Zurutuza, says, "this project aims to develop improved modular solutions to cover the current needs of the sector”. For this reason, the companies participating in the MODEOL project need to take into account the modular concepts in their new platforms, enabling them to provide major variations, benefiting from the standardisation of certain components.
Thanks to the modularisation strategy, manufacturing, assembly and logistics costs will be reduced. In addition, it opens up the possibility of optimising the entire module and not just each one of its components individually.
The progress made on the MODEOL project will be presented at the next edition of the Wind Europe Conference and Exhibition event, to be held in Bilbao from 2 to 4 April.
As part of this forum, Zurutuza will give a presentation on the progress of the initiative in the session Next generation components for wind turbines. Participants in the project will also have their own stands in the area coordinated by the Energy Cluster (Hall 1).