DIAB Divinycell core for wind energy nacelles

WinWinD: Wind energy solutions in Chennai, India

WinWinD is a Finland-based Wind Energy solutions provider and an established organization in wind energy across the globe, with installations in Finland, India, Sweden, Estonia, France, Portugal and Czech Republic. Performing Solutions interviewed Mr. G. Ravi, Assistant VP of WinWinD Power Energy, India, to learn more about its collaboration with Diab.

With a view to cater to the fast growing Asian markets, WinWinD has established a fully owned subsidiary with a production facility at Vengal, near Chennai in India. This manufacturing facility is designed and equipped for assembling nacelles and hubs, and production of rotor blades and customized rotor blade moulds. The facility is also fully equipped for rigorous testing of each manufactured part prior to installation.

Turnkey solutions
WinWinD’s aim is to provide turnkey solutions from concept to commissioning across varied wind speeds and diverse geographies, with guaranteed uptime. This is accomplished through an advanced product suite of 1MW and 3MW wind turbine generators that are known for their reliability and efficiency at low wind speeds. This efficiency and reliability results from constant design improvements and continuous development, proficient assembly and manufacturing, as well as competent operation and maintenance.

High demands
WinWinD’s relationship with Diab in India started with establishment of WinWinD’s production facility at Vengal. In first quarter 2008, during the initial rounds of production planning, Diab’s team was invited for discussions on core material supply for manufacturing of rotor blades and moulds. From supplying the first custom-made core kit for rotor blades to, now, supplying core materials in the form of Divinycell H, for mass production, Diab has been WinWinD’s partner of choice.

For wind turbine generators to excel across varied terrains and wind conditions, it is essential to ensure that each component complies with uncompromising quality standards throughout the guaranteed lifespan. WinWinD’s WWD- 1 employs the sophisticated EU 60 blade design which necessitates the rotor blades to be lightweight, and, at the same time, strong and stiff. This combination of being lightweight and, simultaneously, robust is attributed to the use of Sandwich composites.

Sandwich composites are employed as a norm when it comes to being lightweight and stiff. It ensures less vibration and longer life for the rotor blades. Most importantly, it prevents the blade from buckling, which is the central reason for reinforcement using foam core materials.

Diab – partner of choice
“Diab was named the primary supplier for core materials, Divinycell H, based on the fulfillment of stringent quality criteria that were set by WinWinD

in manufacturing rotor blades that were global-market ready. Diab’s skill in delivering customized core kits, and the convenience with which supply and service logistics are executed, are factors that contributed to the company being selected as a supplier for rotor blade core material. The ease of retrieving core material and the flexibility Diab offered in supplying them are two inherent factors that cemented this partnership”.

Says Mr. G. Ravi, who heads WinWinD Power Energy’s blade production: “Diab proved to be the only supplier to fulfill all our objectives, and their response for any requirement is very quick.“

“Recently, when WinWinD had problems in Nacelle cover supply, Diab readily came forward to supply Divinycell core materials as per our production requirements.”

“We called Diab. Within one day, we had a decision what to do. The next day an offer was on the table, and on the third day we went into production,” says G. Ravi.

Partnering for technology transfer
While work was in progress to refine and perfect the manufacturing process at WinWinD’s manufacturing facility in India, Diab was keeping close tabs with the WinWinD team even on the production shop floor, looking for options to streamline the process and make it more cost effective.

One solution that came up was the supply of custom-made core kits for the Vacuum Assisted Resin Infusion Moulding (VARIM) process.

For this, the Divinycell H material used in Blade manufacturing needs to be trimmed to the dimensions of the mould profile as per the design requirement. In regular production units, this process of meeting the size and shape requirements and preparing the Divinycell H sheets is done by an internal Material Preparation Department.

In order to save process time, it was decided to have customized Core Kits of Divinycell H, according to the layup sequence. This option was discussed with Diab, and the officials were keen to deliver the same to meet production requirements. The core kit was made and supplied by Diab for the initial set of blades.

“Diab showed great flexibility in turnaround times and supply quantities while ensuring and adhering to our quality requirements. They were quick to organize a custom delivery module to meet WinWinD’s shop floor requisites. This option to outsource is both cost-effective and convenient,” says G. Ravi.

The support rendered to WinWinD by Diab has qualified the company as not just the supplier for core material to manufacture rotor blades but also as a supplier of core material for the manufacture of Nacelle covers and rotor blade moulds.

“We at Diab look forward to a longterm association with WinWinD based on the competence of both of our teams and the excellent technology produced by WinWinD” says Gopish Kumar, National Sales Manager at Diab India.


Louise Eriksson Jacka
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