Bladena is a new spin-out company from DTU, Technical University of Denmark – a platform from which small wind turbine manufacturers can grow by leaps and bounds. Bladena supplies the know-how and specific patented solutions that can lead to stronger and lighter wind turbine blades.
|*CAT Science Park is a privately held company, helping entrepreneurs and innovators to find the capital and the right competences required for turning ideas into enterprises. |
There is already a high demand for stronger and lighter wind turbine blades. The wind industry wants to construct larger turbines, which may increase the cost efficiency of each turbine and reduce the price of energy. Until now a major issue has been that the weight of the blades in large turbines is too high. The large and well-established wind turbine generator manufacturers deal with this and other issues in their own research and development teams. Bladena provides small wind turbine generator and wind turbine blade manufacturers without in-house research and development departments with a unique opportunity to utilise the latest research to optimise their blade design.
“Simply put, Bladena employs the latest knowledge and technologies from DTU to empower companies who design and produce wind turbine blades. We have worked systematically to implement all the knowledge gained in the last ten years by e.g. co-founder of Bladena, Researcher Find Mølholt Jensen during his tenure at Risø DTU. This research has now been transformed from a fault finding tool to something we can use to prevent faults from occurring in the first place”, explains Mr. Søren Horn Petersen, GEO of Bladena, and adds that Bladena has already been approached by potential customers.
Besides comprehensive insight and knowledge of the structure of wind turbine blades, seven specific inventions have been transferred to the new company. Among these the so-called IKEA cross – a structural element that can stabilise the blade in much the same way as the metal cross you mount on the back of a shelving unit. Increased stability of the blade results in saved materials and reduced weight. The customers will thus have a better and more reliable solution, and a more cost-effective blade.
At DTU, the principles and effects of inventions such as this have been demonstrated over the last decade –funded partly by Copenhagen Cleantech Cluster and partly by Region Zealand whose aim it is to fund projects that can transcend the gap between research and commercial application.
“However, the research had reached a stage where the time had come to transfer the ongoing work to a spin-out company”, says President of DTU, Anders Bjarklev, and continues:
“One of the foremost tasks of the University is to ensure that research from DTU benefits society. At DTU we engineer groundbreaking solutions, and a spin-out like Bladena is a good example of how our innovative researchers create the basis for new jobs in the manufacturing industry.” Bladena will be based in Ringsted and is financed by two private investors as well as innovation funds from CAT*.
On Bladena’s board of directors are competent resources from CAT and the investors, and Søren Horn Petersen, CEO of Bladena, anticipates a close collaboration with DTU in the future:
“We see ourselves as bridge-builders who can disseminate knowledge to society but also bring value to the academic world in the form of specific knowledge of real issues and needs in the wind Industry”