A. Preparatory actions
A1. Fine-tuning of the reverse logistic processes into the WF environmental management decommissioning phase.

The aim of this activity is to establish the requirements for carrying out the reverse logistic processes and the recycling pilot experience of wind turbine rotor blades in the context of the Coal Clough Wind Farm (UK).

  • Establishment of the requirements for the demonstrative pilot experience of rotor blades dismantling in the Coal Clough onshore WF.
  • Adjustment of the demonstrative recycling pilot experience of end of service life rotor Blades.
  • Assessment of other decommissioning procedures of onshore wind turbines.

A2. Design in detail of demonstrative prototypes including recovered materials from rotor blades recycling.
Bearing in mind the potential applications of recovered materials from blades recycling, two types of products containing those materials will be designed:

  • Demonstrative precast concrete elements, incorporating recovered inorganic fibres.
  • Demonstrative multilayer panels, incorporating mixtures of ground materials (polymers, short fibres, foams or inorganic fillers) as internal cores.

B. Implementation actions
B1. Wind Farms reverse logistic processes in the context of Coal Clough WF repowering.
The aim of this action is to develop best practice guidelines for the dismantling of onshore wind farms, including the following activities:

  • Demonstration and evaluation of the wind turbines dismantling in the Coal Clough onshore WF.
  • Proposal of best practice guidelines for deconstruction of onshore wind turbines.

B2. Pilot experience execution: Mechanical recycling of rotor blades for recovering inorganic fibres concentrates and other materials.
The overall objective of this action is to demonstrate and validate at pilot scale a specific mechanical recycling process of end-of-life rotor blades focused on a high recovery of material resources to be introduced again in the value chain as secondary raw materials. In this sense, the intended recycling treatment means to obtain, on one side, upgraded inorganic fibres concentrates to be used as reinforcement in precast concrete elements, and on the other hand, streams of ground materials (polymers, inorganic fillers or short fibres) to be used as core in sandwich structures. The following activities are considered:

  • Pretreatment of end-of-life rotor blades: cutting down and primary coarse shredding (carried out in UK).
  • Concentration process for materials recovery (carried out in Spain).

B3. Demonstration of the end-of-life rotor blades recycling: demonstrative products development.
The following actions are included:

  • Application of the recovered inorganic fibres in cement based materials: manufacture of demonstrative precast concrete elements.
  • Application of the other separated fractions in multilayer structures: manufacture of demonstrative multilayer panels.

B4. Legislative recommendations to the European Commission on wind turbine waste management.
The purpose of this activity is to suggest the consideration of wind turbine blades into a new waste stream in order to develop the corresponding European regulation. The activities included in this action are as follows:

  • Overview of the legal requirements for prevention and wastes recycling in the European Union context.
  • Proposal of legislative recommendations to the European Commission.

B5. Environmental evaluation based on the life cycle analysis methodology.
The objective of this action is to evaluate the environmental impact of wind turbine blades management from Wind Farms decommissioning. For this evaluation it will be used the life cycle analysis methodology. The tasks considered are indicated below:

  • Definition of stage and inventory of dates.
  • Application of life cycle analysis methodology (SimaPro).
  • Comparative study of alternatives about end life of wind blades.
  • Interpretation of results.

C. Monitoring of the impact of the project actions
The objective of this action is to identify the main indicators which will allow monitoring the impact of the project from a technical and environmental point of view and also the economic and social impact of the solution developed on the stakeholders.

D. Communication and dissemination actions
The communication and dissemination of this research is a core part of the project. The objective of this action is to disseminate and raise awareness of the project and the results that are possible to achieve.

To reach this, the project logo, website, information panels, communication program, seminars, training activities and a Layman’s report will be developed.

E. Project management and monitoring of the project progress
The overall management of the project will be assumed by the Project Management Board (PMB) which will be formed by an empowered representative of each of the members of the consortium. The PMB will be responsible for ensuring the good overall results of the project.

Once the project has finished an After-Life Communication Plan will be elaborated to assure the dissemination and communication of the project results and outcomes in order to obtain an important impact in the target audience.