Modular, “LEGO-Style” Wind Turbines Will Soon Become A Reality

Feb 25, 2022by Olivia - F&F

Here’s an interesting question for you. How do you transport extra-long and extra-large wind turbine blades along winding, narrow roads? The answer is to turn them into LEGO, of course!

Vestas Wind TurbineVestas Wind Turbine

Danish Company Introduces LEGO-Style Wind Turbines

In the future, assembling a wind turbine might be as easy as putting together a LEGO set! Okay, it probably won’t be the same as assembling the Millenium Falcon from Star Wars — but the process will have remarkable similarities.

Anders Nielson, CTO of Vestas, recently unveiled plans to create a fully modular wind turbine. The Danish company designs, manufactures, installs, develops, and services wind energy and hybrid projects all over the world. Vestas’ wind turbines are installed in 85 countries, and since 1945, their wind turbines have prevented 1.5 billion tonnes³ of CO₂ from polluting the atmosphere. The plan to create a fully modular wind turbine began in 2012 — but now, Vestas is taking the next step in their “modularisation journey”.

Transporting Wind Turbine BladeTransporting Wind Turbine Blade

What’s The Problem With Regular Wind Turbines?

There’s just one problem with the growth of wind turbine technology, according to Nielson. “As turbine components become larger and more efficient, they can also create logistical challenges to the expansion of wind power to all parts of the world,” he said. 

Back when wind turbines were relatively small, transportation wasn’t as much of an issue. But now, transporting bigger, longer and heavier wind turbine parts is a logistical nightmare for many wind energy companies. 

Manouvering these large pieces through bridges, tunnels, tight curves, narrow roads and rough terrain is difficult enough — but then, adding in special highway permits, escorts and other expenses means more headaches, red tape, and money.

Wind Turbines Will Be Shipped & Flown All Around The World!

At the top of a wind turbine, there’s a component called the ‘nacelle’ which houses the turbine’s electrical systems. It’s the core element that Vestas is focused on modularising. By separating the nacelle into several components, it’s easier to ship these parts all around the world — plus, it’s easier for wind turbines to be upgraded or fixed regularly.  

This LEGO-style modularity approach is being replicated for turbine blades. Reinforcing wind turbine blades with extra flexibility will prevent them from snapping on route to their destination. 

This modelling can aid in massive deployment of wind energy in different regions of the country.

Offshore Wind Farm

The Future Of Wind Energy In Australia

Wind energy is Australia’s leading source of clean energy! In 2020, wind farms supplied 35.9% of the country’s renewable energy, and 9.9% of Australia’s overall electricity. Each year, the wind sector grows at breakneck speed. 

But, we’re not just talking about land-based wind farms. Australia has the potential to become an offshore wind superpower! If all the current proposed offshore wind farms were built, their combined energy capacity would be greater than all of Australia’s coal-fired power stations. 

There are around 12 offshore wind projects that are in development. With our incredible, windy coastlines — these projects could provide enormous economic and employment opportunities for regional areas — creating up to 8,000 jobs annually from 2030. Amazing, right?

In the future, we’d love to see LEGO-style, modular wind turbines being shipped and assembled all over the world — especially to developing nations. As the world turns to clean, renewable energy sources — like onshore and offshore wind power — developing the technology to create fully-modular wind turbines is a giant leap in the right direction!

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