Three 20 meter long rotor blades that were developed within the context of the SmartBlades2 project will be assessed under natural weather and wind conditions in Boulder, Colorado (USA), over the next four months. For this purpose, the rotor blades, which were designed by the Fraunhofer Institute for Wind Energy Systems (IWES) and built by the German Aerospace Center (Deutsches Zentrum für Luft- und Raumfahrt; DLR), have been installed in the USA at the Department of Energy's National Wind Technology Center (NWTC) of the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL).
Among others, the field campaign aims to clarify how well the rotor blades, designed with bend-twist coupling, are able to effectively dampen peak loads during strongly variable wind speeds. The results will serve as a basis for the further development of smart rotor blades. The SmartBlades2 project is funded by the German Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy (BMWi) and is being carried out by the Research Alliance Wind Energy, with its partners DLR, Fraunhofer IWES and ForWind, in collaboration with industry partners from GE, Henkel, Nordex Acciona, SSB Wind Systems, Suzlon, Senvion and WRD Wobben Research and Development.