The reduction of fossil fuel dependency is an important goal for both developed and developing countries of the world. To achieve this goal, the renewable energy production, in particular, wind energy generation, must be drastically increased.
This can be realized by installation and expansion of many off-shore and on-shore wind parks built with large and extra-large wind turbines. Due to the high costs of repair and maintenance of extra-large, off-shore or remotely located wind turbines, the reliability of wind turbines, first of all, its most important part, rotor, should be increased to ensure efficient work for 20 and more years.
The durability and high lifetime of wind turbine can be ensured, among others, if the wind blade materials have very high stiffness, strength, fatigue damage and environmental loading resistances as well as low weight. For this, the advanced composites should be developed, improved and utilized in wind turbines.
In this chapter, the application of composites in wind energy technology, requirements to the composites, their properties and constituents, manufacturing technologies and defects are reviewed. Methods of computational modeling of wind blade materials and promising future directions of their development are discussed.
Leon Mishnaevsky Jr. Risø National Laboratory for Sustainable Energy, Technical University of Denmark, Roskilde, Denmark