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Owens Corning has announced at the EWEC in Athens, Greece,  the single-end roving and knitted fabric, WindStrand, which will allow the wind energy market to take another step forward in competing successfully against other alternative energy sources by reducing the cost per kilowatt-hour (kwh).

The product will allow turbine manufacturers to increase blade lengths by as much as six per cent and deliver up to 12 per cent more power -- for up to 20 percent less cost than any competing carbon-glass hybrid solution currently on the market. In addition to the cost and performance benefits of WindStrand, the product also provides manufacturers with the traditional processability of glass, combined with the stiffness strength and weight of other high-performance materials. The product, which is targeted to be commercially available in late 2006, is the first application using the new Owens Corning high-performance reinforcement platform, HiPer-tex.

The performance statistics for WindStrand are based on extensive beta testing in the field, and design blade optimization by an independent research establishment based in the Netherlands Composite Technology Centre (CTC).  CTC studied the effects of replacing traditional E-glass with WindStrand for several components in a 44-meter long rotor or blade, suitable for a 2.5 MW wind turbine.
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