The wind industry has experienced a steady increase in the diameter of wind turbine rotor blades in recent years. The transport of the rotor blades from the production facility to the installation site is becoming an ever greater logistical challenge: in order for the special vehicles to pass through villages and along country lanes, the roads have to be cleared, crash barriers dismantled or cranes used to transport the cargo along the narrow, winding roads.

One solution could be segmented rotor blades that are transported in pieces and are first assembled at the installation site. Fraunhofer IWES, DLR and the Nordex Energy GmbH manufacturing company are therefore working together to develop particularly aerodynamic and lightweight rotor blade elements that can be connected together with the least possible installation effort.

However, should imbalances arise during assembly, for example through the misalignment of an element or incorrect blade loading at the connection point, this could result in costly repairs and in the worst case total failure of the system. The development of a suitably firm and durable connection technology therefore forms an essential part of the "Segmented Blade Technology (SegBlaTe)" research project. Amongst other things the new technology is being tested in terms of its durability using a 65-metre-long segmented rotor blade.

The project is being funded until December 2019 by the German Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy (BMWi).