A Scottish company which has developed a patented technology to repair wind turbine blades damaged by erosion and provide future protection has revealed plans to raise £2 million from investors.

Dundee-based Edge Solutions, founded in 2016 by Brian Forbes, developed its Armour Edge, custom-fitted modular shield to tackle erosion of the leading edges of wind turbine blades in tandem with chemicals giant Ineos.  Erosion can be caused by the likes of salt spray.

Armour Edge uses a bespoke version of Ineos’s ultra-tough “Luran SC” thermoplastic material, designed specifically for wind turbine blades. Made in Scotland, Armour Edge can be used in onshore and offshore windfarms. 

Edge Solutions claims that its product is faster to install than most current alternatives for the repair and protection of leading edges of wind turbine blades, thus reducing downtime and cost. It cited a study indicating Armour Edge could have a 50-year lifespan. A spokesman for the company, who noted Mr Forbes remains fully involved with the business, observed other industry solutions include specialist adhesive tapes.

The company, which employs seven people with plans to increase the workforce to 30, also revealed it was working with a “major manufacturer” to explore the potential to factory-fit shields to new blades.

It added that this “could significantly disrupt the existing blade market by markedly reducing the ongoing maintenance requirement on operational turbines”.

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Edge Solutions said it had “a growing order book from operational wind farms across Europe, the USA and Asia”.

It declared that it was looking for new funds to expand its team and meet demand on the back of much faster than expected growth, and to finance an ongoing testing and research and development programme. The spokesman noted the orders included work from the UK and India, and flagged discussions with potential customers in Australia.

The company has hired Stuart MacLean, a former senior partner in mergers and acquisitions and corporate finance at law firm CMS, who becomes head of corporate development. Richard Scullion, former global marketing director for Palla Pharma, has been appointed as head of business development.

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Mr Scullion said: “The feedback we are receiving is that Armour Edge is quick and easy to install. Our US installer is now able to repair a 10-metre blade in a single day – which is much faster than expected and quicker than most of the current alternatives. This means less downtime and lost revenue for operators. Plus the shields’ durability means a single install could last for decades.”

Edge Solutions noted that it had earlier this year closed a £1 million Enterprise Investment Scheme funding round, in which existing and new private investors had participated, and was “now seeking to bring impact funds and corporate investors on board”.

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Asked what was meant by “impact funds”, a spokesman said: “For example publicly owned funds.”

The spokesman, asked about the ownership of the business, said: “Ownership is well distributed between management, founders and private investors, with no majority owner."

Edge Solutions said it had commissioned new research with a leading European wind industry test house to back up an earlier study by the Offshore Renewable Energy(ORE)  catapult which predicted a 50-year lifespan for the shields.

Operations director Will Howell said: “The study has been commissioned at the request of a major blade manufacturer. They are interested in the potential to fit the shields as a final step in the manufacturing process, significantly improving the erosion durability of new blades.”

He added: “We are also talking to potential customers in Australia and Latin America, meaning we can realistically expect to have a global order book by the year-end. New funds will allow us [to} execute our current business plan and accelerate activity in the months ahead.”