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Wind Power Blade Industry Cost Structure, Composite Materials, Competitive Landscape And Development Trends

Oct 31, 2020

The wind power industry is mainly composed of upstream raw material production, midstream component manufacturing and wind turbine manufacturing, and downstream wind farm operation and grid operation.


The wind generator is mainly composed of three parts: the impeller, the nacelle and the tower. Since the tower tube is generally tendered separately when the wind farm is bidding, the wind turbine refers to the impeller and the nacelle at this time. The impeller of the fan is responsible for converting wind energy into mechanical energy. It is composed of blades, hubs, and fairings. The blades convert the kinetic energy of the air into mechanical energy of the blades and the main shaft, and then into electrical energy through the generator. The size and shape of the blades directly determine the energy conversion efficiency, as well as the power and performance of the unit. Therefore, wind turbine blades are at the core of wind turbine design.


The cost of wind power blades accounts for 20%-30% of the total cost of the entire wind power system. The cost of wind farm construction can be divided into equipment fees, installation fees, construction works, and other expenses. Take a 50MW wind farm as an example, about 70% of the cost comes from equipment fees; 94% of the equipment fees come from power generation equipment; power generation equipment 80% of the fee comes from the cost of the wind turbine and 17% comes from the cost of the tower. According to this calculation, the cost of wind turbines accounts for about 51% of the total investment of the power station, and the cost of towers accounts for about 11% of the total investment. The purchase cost of the two is the main cost of wind farm construction. Wind power blades need to have the characteristics of large size, complex shape, high precision, uniform mass distribution, and good weather resistance. At present, the annual market size of wind power blades is about 15-20 billion yuan.


At present, 80% of the cost of blades in China comes from raw materials. Among them, the reinforcing fiber, core material, matrix resin and adhesive glue together account for more than 85% of the total cost price. The reinforcing fiber and matrix resin account for more than 60%. Each core material accounts for more than 10%. The matrix resin is the material "wrapped body" of the entire blade, which wraps the fiber material and the core material. The amount of the wrapped material actually determines the amount of the matrix material, that is, the fiber material.


Analysis of market competition pattern of wind power blade industry


At present, there are more than a dozen large enterprises in the global wind power blade industry with a production capacity of more than 1,000 sets. Due to the limitation of the transportation radius, the distribution of production capacity will affect the competitive landscape of the blade market, and local manufacturers benefited from regional advantages to carve up some regional market shares. The data shows that the top five domestic wind power blade companies have increased their market share from 10% in 2011 to 50% in 2018. 

The development trend of wind power blade industry

In 2021, the National Energy Administration requires wind-level electricity generation on the grid, and the industry chain has an increasing demand for cost reduction and efficiency enhancement. Therefore, the development of infusion resin with low exothermic temperature, low density, rapid release strength, light weight and high toughness adhesive has been developed to shorten the overall process from infusion to mold clamping of the blade, thereby reducing costs and increasing efficiency. Important. While the large-scale development of wind power blades takes into account the cost reduction of the entire industry chain, the blade design will develop towards a trend of modularization. In the future, product development and reserve must be considered from reducing costs and increasing efficiency.

Large-scale and lightweight wind power blades


As the market has higher and higher requirements for the utilization efficiency of wind power blades, the development of wind power blades has become an inevitable trend. Under the same length of the blade, the weight of the blade using glass fiber as the reinforcing material is significantly greater than the weight of the blade using carbon fiber as the reinforcing material, thereby affecting the operating performance and conversion efficiency of the wind turbine. The composite materials made of traditional glass fiber have gradually exposed certain shortcomings, such as low elastic modulus and interlayer shear strength, long-term temperature resistance and easy aging, especially the mass density of the material is still relatively large. The length of the blades of large-scale development wind turbines continues to increase, and the heavier and heavier blades also place more stringent requirements on the generator and tower. 

With the same blade length, the weight of carbon fiber composite materials is much lower than that of glass fiber composite materials. The reduction in blade mass and the increase in stiffness can effectively improve the aerodynamic performance of the blade and reduce the load of the blade on the tower and axle. The output power of the fan is smoother and more balanced, and the operation efficiency is higher, which is more conducive to the wind power of the fan. collect.  

In terms of technological development trends, wind power blades will focus on the gradual increase in product capacity in the future, and both onshore wind power and offshore wind power will develop towards large-scale development. At this stage, the mainstream capacity of wind turbines is 2~4MW. In the future, small-capacity wind turbines will gradually fade out of the market and develop towards large-scale wind turbines. The advantage of large-scale wind turbines is that the land use efficiency of wind farms is greatly increased, while the disadvantage is that the unit construction cost will rise slightly.