Siemens Gamesa has accumulated 750 tons of prototype wind turbine blades in Aalborg over the past decade, as it has not been possible to recycle them for other production.
A collaboration between Stena Recycling and Siemens Gamesa ensures that these previous test wings are now released for recycling. This is stated by the parties in a press release.
Stena Recycling has over 3,000 employees in 200 departments in 10 countries and collaborates with partners who, like Stena Recycling itself, invest in the latest waste technology and know-how. For the wind turbine blades, this means that they are sent for a trip to Germany.
Once a wind turbine is exhausted, it is taken down. Aalborg has collected the end-of-life blades, which until now could not be recycled. The end-of-life wind turbine blades are transported by special transport to Stena Recycling’s partner, where a +40 ton excavator with “scissors” attached cuts the end-of-life wind turbine blades into smaller plates.
The plates, which are usually 80 x 80 cm., are then loaded onto freight transport and transported to Stena Recycling’s partner and German subcontractor Neowa in Bremen. Here, a high-tech plant specialises in handling glass fibres and composite materials.
At Neowa, the fiberglass plates are initially placed in large rotary ovens. The high temperatures allow the binder to be removed.
The plates are then pulverised, after which, among other things, carbon and silicon are extracted, which are valuable and can again enter the value chain and create benefits in new products. Among other things, silicon can be used in cement production.
- Siemens Gamesa now performs an efficient main cleaning, and we remove all our end-of-life wind turbine prototypes in Aalborg. Instead of sending the wings on landfill, we have decided to partner with Stena Recycling. The collaboration underlines how industrial partnerships can create sustainable results and lift companies up the waste hierarchy, says Peter Birkegaard, Factory Manager for Siemens Gamesa in Aalborg.
In addition to cement production, materials from end-of-life wind turbines can also be used in the marine sector and for road construction. In order to further increase the recycling of its end-of-life wind turbines, Siemens Gamesa is also exploring how to develop wind turbines in the initial design phase, so that it will be possible to recycle even more resources even more easily in the future, Siemens Gamesa said in the press release.