This was mainly driven by the continuing boom in China, which accounted for half the new global wind installations, with 18.9 GW. China had in 2010 44.7 GW of wind power, and surpassed the US to claim the number one spot in terms of total installed capacity. But a growing number of small producers, unable to guarantee a good level of quality because of lack of technology and of skilled labour, generated several serious problems that somehow spoiled the image of the whole wind generators industry, cutting their production programs and sending the weakest ones to bankruptcy. Only the largest players remained in operation, and the young Chinese industry learned, once more, an old lesson: quality costs, but it pays back. Now planning, development and construction for the “Wind Base” programme, which aims to build 138 GW of wind capacity in eight Chinese provinces, is well underway. In its twelfth Five-Year Plan, which was passed by the Chinese Parliament in March 2011, the government set a new target of building a total 90 GW of wind energy by 2015.
Catch the wind, with Cannon!
This rising global activity further stimulated Cannon to dedicate human and financial resources to the development of solutions for the aeolic generators industry. The series of dedicated dosing units for the infusion of Epoxy resins in the giant blades has been extended. New models are available to respond to new needs, as demanded by a growing number of international customers. In addition to the first major customer in this field – Siemens Wind Power, that has increased in 2011 their park of Cannon Epoxy DX low-pressure machines – several new manufacturers from Germany, Denmark, Brazil, Spain, India have chosen the new Cannon machines for the infusion in their large aeolic blades. Being very secretive about their suppliers and new developments, they do not like us to disclose their names, then we won't tell you whom they are… but they are all big!
New solutions, for higher industrialization
On top of having extended the range of outputs up to 80 kg per minute, the new Epoxy DX machines feature now a three-component model, with an additional stream dedicated to a second hardener: by regulating the blend of the two hardeners a complete range of reactivities can be obtained, to face any sort and size of blade. A pneumatic three-way valve controls now the recirculation of the components immediately before the start of the infusion. Higher precision and better control of the ratio between the two components can be obtained with this fast valve, mounted very close to the head. For easier portability across their vast production halls not all the manufacturers like the idea of connecting their dosing units to the compressed air network, therefore Cannon have added a compressor on board, so the little amount of air required to operate the valve is produced locally. To provide a faster control of the infusion rate, a remote control has been developed, that allows the operator to reduce the output when necessary without having to run through the factory. A load cell has been added to the dosing system, to be fitted under the open container that receives the blended formulation from the metering machine and acts as a buffer for the infusion. The output of the dispenser is automatically adjusted in accordance with the weight of liquid present in the buffer: when the impregnation rate slows down, due to the internal resistance of the glass reinforcement to the diffusion of the liquid, the dispensing machine reduces its feed rate, to avoid an overflow of the buffering container.
More advantages, for higher rentability
Cannon has been selected as a supplier of Epoxy infusion machines by numerous qualified manufacturers because of several technical advantages, but the major benefit derives from its international presence and multi-technological experience. An international network of Technical Service centres is a fundamental plus, that guarantees the continuous presence of a qualified team of specialists and of spare parts in moments of need and difficulty. The availability of several different technologies for metering and mixing the widest range of formulations – including adhesives and coatings, widely used in this industry – allows the Cannon customer to find quickly the right solution for his special needs without wasting time in trials and errors.
The Cannon Group attitude of providing turnkey plants for the most complex industrial applications goes by far beyond the supply of a simple dosing machine: an integrated production plant can be discussed and quoted, relying on the cooperation of different specialised companies. To resume here the different technological solutions that Cannon provides to the aeolic generators industry, let us mention:
- Metering and mixing machines for Polyurethane resins, that can be used for foam reinforcements instead of expensive balsa wood or blocks of XPS (Extruded Polystyrene).
- Metering and mixing equipment for DCPD resins (DyCicloPentaDiene) used to manufacture compact plastic blades and other ancillary components.
- Thermoforming machines for the largest available plastic sheets, used for the exteriors and the interior panelling elements of the nacelles.
- Complete manipulation and handling systems, already proven for the precise assembly of sophisticated aircrafts, able to handle large parts throughout vast halls.
- Aluminium die-casting presses and plants for the manufacture of electric motors and other moulded metal components. This multi-technological approach and its multinational presence make Cannon an ideal partner for the manufacturers of wind generators.