Concepts for Reusing Composite Materials from Decommissioned Wind Turbine Blades in Affordable Housing

Abstract
The very rapid growth in wind energy technology in the last 15 years has led to a rapid growth in the amount of non-biodegradable, thermosetting fiber reinforced polymer (FRP) composite materials used in wind turbine blades. This paper discusses conceptual architectural and structural options for recycling these blades by reusing parts of wind turbine blades in new or retrofitted housing projects. It focuses on large-sized FRP pieces that can be salvaged from the turbine blades and can potentially be useful in infrastructure projects where harsh environmental conditions (water and high humidity) exist. Since reuse design should be for specific regional locations and architectural characteristics the designs presented in this paper are for the coastal regions of the Yucatan province in Mexico on the Gulf of Mexico where low-quality masonry block informal housing is vulnerable to severe hurricanes and flooding. To demonstrate the concept a prototype 100 m long wind blade model developed by Sandia National Laboratories is used to show how a wind blade can be broken down into parts, thus making it possible to envision architectural applications for the different wind blade segments for housing applications.

Citation
L.C. Bank, F.R. Arias, A. Yazdanbakhsh, T.R. Gentry, T. Al-Haddad, J.F. Chen and R. Morrow, (2018),“Concepts for Reusing Composite Materials from Decommissioned Wind Turbine Blades in Affordable Housing,” Recycling, MDPI, Vol. 3, No. 1, doi:10.3390/recycling3010003.

 

JournalLawrence Bank