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Leading-edge erosion from rain, hail, sand, salt and bird strikes are one of the largest issues facing the wind turbine blade industry. This requires significant maintenance and personnel costs, equipment down-time, reduced energy output, and creates large amounts of waste from damaged and discarded blades. 

Based on analysis conducted at the Department of Aerospace Engineering at the University of Illinois (Sareen, Sapre & Selig), it has been estimated that a relatively small degree of leading-edge erosion can cause an 80% increase in drag which results in a 5% loss in annual energy production. For many of the moderate-to-heavy erosion cases, this loss in annual energy production can be as high as 25%.

By utilizing a lighter, stronger, more impact resistant leading-edge technology that is easily installed during the initial production phase or during routine maintenance of a blade, would decrease overall costs, reduce repair downtime, allow for larger safety intervals to perform inspection, and increase overall power output. 

The Helicoid™ leading-edge protection solution provides tougher blades with higher resistance to impact, erosion and fatigue while maintaining strength and stiffness over the decades of service required. The Helicoid™ leading-edge protection solution is compatible with existing materials and manufacturing processes and can be combined with LEP coating (e.g. PU) to further extend the longevity of the blade.

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