ZOLTEK™ PX35 large-tow carbon fiber, manufactured by our subsidiary ZOLTEK, is ideal for wind generation that requires larger, rigid blades. Carbon fiber composite materials are friendly to the global environment.
The installation of wind generation facilities is picking up pace globally.
In Europe, wind generation is one of the leading sources of clean energy. In 2019, wind energy accounted for 44% of all new power installations across Europe. Wind energy now covers over 11% of Europe's electricity demand. Europe leads the world in wind energy, especially offshore wind, with over 90% of today's offshore wind farms. (Source: Wind Europe).
In the U.S., there are 60,000 wind turbines with a combined capacity of 107 KMW operating across 41 states, Guam and Puerto Rico. The use of wind power in the U.S. has more than tripled over the past decade, and is currently the largest source of renewable energy in the country (Source: American Wind Energy Association).
Wind generators traditionally used glass fiber composite materials for their rotary blades, but larger blades are needed for better wind generation efficiency and large-scale generation on limited land. Larger blades are at greater risk of hitting the support column and getting damaged by deflecting while turning or due to wind force. So the use of carbon fiber composite materials offering high rigidity is a must.
Currently blades exceeding 40 m (for windmills of 80 m or more in diameter) are being used, and they are still growing larger. Over 40,000 tons of ZOLTEK™ PX35 carbon fiber has been used in wind turbines worldwide. ZOLTEK™ PX35 carbon fiber has become the industry standard for wind turbine blade reinforcement.
It is used for the beam positioned at the center of the blade to determine the rigidity of the blade, and this carbon fiber beam is combined with a GFRP surface to produce the blade. As efficient and clean wind generation requires the high specific strength and high specific modulus of elasticity of carbon fiber, more carbon fiber is being used per windmill. As a result, wind generation looks set to grow significantly as a key application field for carbon fiber.
Why TORAY Materials?
Our material solutions for wind turbine blades offer many benefits to processing, design and lightweighting.
Advanced composites are stronger than steel, but up to 40% lighter than aluminum. Carbon fiber reduces weight and increases stiffness and strength. As a result, turbine blades are now longer and more efficient than ever before.
With over 12 years of experience in the wind energy industry, we have developed significant expertise in building wind blade structural composites with carbon fiber. Technical assistance is available, with material dispensing tools and techniques that can save our customers time and money.
ZOLTEK™ carbon fiber is created from a textile-type precursor. When combined with our high-throughput process, ZOLTEK™ PX35 is the best value for wind energy applications.