Guido Zwart

Blade Engineer

‘From tropical hardwood to synthetic composite blades’

Since 1990 Guido has been involved in the development of wind turbines, especially the rotor blades . Traditionally, large rotor blades were made of laminated tropical hardwood from the primeval forests of Cameroon. Not a good idea from an ecological point of view. We have succeeded in finding an alternative for this. Nowadays almost all rotor blades are made of synthetic composite material (wood is actually a natural composite material, because wood also consists of fibers and a binding material).

When I had the opportunity to create different rotor blade designs, including the determination of environmental damage and costs, the concepts of ‘performance-specific environmental damage’ and ‘performance-specific costs’ emerged. Before you start to design blades, you can use these material characteristics to see which material will cause the most environmental damage or costs. This method was later also used outside of wind energy to select the right materials at an early stage. In my private life, I do get stuck in the field of environmental care, but I do my best with the reuse of building materials, solar panels, an electric car and the (planned) planting of a forest of 7,000 m2.”