Turn2Sun’s Pioneering Method of Harnessing Solar Power with Recycled Wind Turbine Blades

By Sophia Francise

July 2, 2023

Turn2Sun has introduced “Blade2Sun,” a sustainable, competitive solar solution for reusing wind turbine blades. 

Reusing old wind turbines in the energy sector is a green and innovative solution and is always in the context of renewable energy.

Instead of using metal beams to support solar panels, the building materials are used because of their highly resilient qualities.

What is Blade2Sun?

The project’s goal is to reuse turbine parts in new photovoltaic systems to increase the lifespan of an element that is now difficult to recycle

The solar business needs more environmentally friendly structures and parts, as these products are made from recycled materials rather than brand-new ones.

One of the key elements of the energy shift is wind energy.

Over 300,000 wind turbines have been installed as of late; they account for 6.5% of the world’s electricity generation.

Over the next few years, over 25,000 wind turbines in Europe alone will have ended their useful lives

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Even though recycling about 90% of a wind turbine’s mass is possible, the issue with the blades persists.1

Used blades, often made of composite materials, are burned in cement plants or incineration facilities. 

Although there aren’t many alternatives for reusing blades today, they could be used because of their extraordinary resistance and ability to cut through the air at speeds of over 300 km/h. differently.

How Does Blade2Sun Work?

Turn2Sun accomplishes two goals simultaneously in its innovative approach to creating new solar energy deployment strategies. 

The start-up introduces a novel system with this invention covered by several international patents. 

A metal framework that supports bifacial solar panels is fixed to the repurposed blade as support. 

In collaboration with Armasuisse, a trial installation at 2,500 meters above sea level was completed in Graubünden. 

The experiments support the viability of such an extreme-condition resistant solar arrangement. 

By adopting a refurbished wind turbine blade that is portable, light, and tiltable, costs can be kept to a minimum. 

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This sleek, white construction is also perfect for bifacial solar panels, rapidly gaining market share. It is an “upcycling” solution that revalues an old blade for a new life cycle spanning several decades.

“Several global players are interested in the solution. Turn2sun develops partnerships

to be able to offer the solution in other countries, also integrating wind turbine blades more

large, capitalizing on the successful experience of the project in Graubünden. Lionel Perret, co-founder of the start-up Turn2Sun.”

“This solution, called “Blade2Sun” (ed., orient the blade towards the sun), makes it possible to have very long spans and, therefore, to reduce the foundations of future solar installations. There are many outlets: old blades can be used in a parking lot (bringing shade to parked cars), above a tank water, an agricultural field, and even above infrastructure such as railways or roads. Good development prospects for this innovative solution seem confirmed: “we have received several messages of interest from economic players important, and let’s start the discussions,” said Raymond Voillat, the CEO of Turn2Sun.

Alongside these developments, the startup works with Armasuisse Immobilier on a project integrating solar and wind energy. 

Installing the solar device at the base of an effective wind turbine will be the goal. 

Combining the two energies at the same location will provide a consistent supply throughout the year. 

Today, Armasuisse Immobilier intends to work with Turn2Sun to carry out the project’s development and realization.

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References

  1. Turn2Sun, ‘A sustainable and competitive solution for the reuse of wind turbine blades’, 14 June 2023, https://www.turn2sun.com/_files/ugd/a9c9f2_e66f96fed77845978e90600509c0cb34.pdf[]
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