Sustainability Assessment of a Wind Turbine Blade: An Engineering Framework
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This paper presents a sustainability assessment of a horizontal axis wind turbine (HAWT) blade. In addition, this project and research is presented as a potential template to aid engineers in performing global, large-scaled sustainability assessments which address en- vironmental, economic, and social impacts. The objective of this research involved in- vestigating the sustainability of a wind turbine blade by developing and implementing a global cradle-to-grave framework. The methods of the framework involved applying life cycle assessment techniques to account for inputs and outputs at each primary stage of manufacturing, and quantified the environmental and economic impacts by utilizing stan- dard environmental indicator analyses of CML 2001 and Eco-indicator 99. This framework considered a sustainability assessment with a limited subset of product options. In par- ticular, variations in the geographic location of manufacturing of intermediate materials was considered. Five geographic locations were considered for intermediate manufacturing: China, India, Europe, Western US, and Eastern US. Aspects of transportation cost, labor cost, working conditions/government regulations, and electricity were considered at each geographic location to account for their impact on environmental, economic, and social concerns. However, the sustainability framework described in this paper can consider a variety of potential product options. © 2012 AIAA.
author list (cited authors)
Owens, B., Weber, J., Yancey, B. F., Zhuang, L., & Talreja, R.