Recycle and Reuse of Wind Turbine Blades

Deadline: May 20 2019 23:59 EDT

Active Solvers: 41

Type: Ideation

$3,500 USD

The wind energy market has experienced exponential growth in the last few decades, with thousands of wind turbines having been installed every year worldwide. Predictions indicate that the trend will go on for many more years, keeping wind energy at the forefront of renewable energy generation worldwide and helping the world to have safe, reliable, sustainable and cheap energy.

The average useful life of wind turbines is about 20 years. After this period, the mechanical and structural properties of the turbines decay and refurbishments in some cases might be necessary to extend their lifetime for a few more years, while in other cases, the wind turbines are dismantled. Whereas the biggest portion of wind turbine components is quite easy to recycle and reuse (i.e. metal parts), there is a small non-metallic portion of components that is less easy to recycle or reuse, namely the blades of the wind turbines. These are mostly made of composite materials (typically glass/carbon fibers + epoxy matrix), plus some other minor components/materials (e.g. glue and gel coat), making this task particularly challenging.

As the first generations of wind turbine technology approach the end-of-life and must be dismantled, the need to find adequate methods to recycle and reuse the blades (and its components) gains increasing relevance and importance. Hence, Enel Green Power (EGP) is looking for the best available methods to recycle and/or reuse the materials the wind turbine blades, in order to be more and more sustainable, under a circular economy perspective.

This is a Theoretical Challenge that requires only a written proposal to be submitted. The Challenge award will be contingent upon theoretical evaluation of the proposal by the Seeker.

To receive an award, the Solvers will not have to transfer their exclusive IP rights to the Seeker. Instead, Solvers will grant to the Seeker a non-exclusive license to practice their solutions.

Submissions to this Challenge must be received by 11:59 PM (US Eastern Time) on May 20, 2019. Late submissions will not be considered.

The solutions will be evaluated by our pool of experts, and finally, the seeker will decide which are the winning solutions. The evaluation parameters are originality, feasibility and effectiveness.

There is a guaranteed award, which will be paid to the best submission(s) as solely determined by the Seeker. The total payout will be $3,500. The Solver is not required to transfer exclusive intellectual property rights to the Seeker. Rather, by submitting a proposal, the Solver grants to the Seeker a royalty-free, perpetual, and non-exclusive license to use any information included in this proposal, including for promotional purposes.

  • Accepting Solutions
    Challenge Open. Prepare your solution and upload it until May 20 23:59 EDT.
  • Evaluating solutions
    Our experts and the Seeker revise the solutions. June 20 23:59 EDT.
  • Prize Giving
    All the participants will be notified with the resolution. The winner receive the prize. July 1 23:59 EDT

With a presence in Europe, America, Asia, Africa and Oceania, Enel Green Power is a global leader of the clean energy sector*,with an annual production of approximately 100 TWh**. Enel Green Power operates in 30 countries and has a managed capacity of over 40.9 GW (including over 38 GW of installed capacity); with more than 1,200 plants (over 100 of which are consolidated) and a mix of generation types including the main renewable sources: wind, solar, hydroelectric and geothermal, an additional 7.8 GW of extra capacity is scheduled to be built by 2020.

To access the challenge just sign up and fill out the form with the solution and add the attached documents that you consider important to better show the viability of it.