UMaine Completes 56m Wind Blade Test for Gamesa

ORONO, Maine — The University of Maine’s Advanced Structures and Composites Center has completed static strength testing of a 56-meter (184-foot) wind turbine blade for Gamesa, a global technological leader in the wind industry, based in Spain. The blade was manufactured in North America and delivered to the University of Maine in late August.

In the testing, the blade was subjected to loads in four directions to prove the structure met international strength standards.

The Gamesa blade was the largest tested to date in the UMaine Offshore Wind Laboratory. The full-service facility offers testing and material characterization services for every stage of blade development. The lab, which opened in 2011, was funded by the National Institute of Standards and Technology through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, the Maine Technology Asset Fund through the Maine Technology Institute, and a 2010 Maine bond.

“We are honored to have served one of the world’s leading wind turbine manufacturers,” said Habib Dagher, director of the UMaine Composites Center. “This is the biggest structure we have tested to date, extending nearly 80 percent of the length of our blade test lab.”

“Our engineers, technicians and students did a great job designing, building and operating the equipment needed to safely rotate and test the 56-meter blade,” said John Arimond, the business development executive with the UMaine Composites Center. Arimond joined UMaine in 2013 after 28 years in industry, most recently serving as CTO of a New Zealand-based manufacturer of 500-kilowatt wind turbines.

Juan Diego Díaz, marketing director for Gamesa, said his company is excited to be partnering with UMaine for blade testing. “North America was a logical place to conduct this important step in our product development, supporting our growing commercial opportunities in that region and globally. We were impressed by the testing quality, safety and attention to detail provided by the UMaine team in successfully testing our blade,” said Díaz.

About Gamesa (
With 20 years experience and more than 30,000 megawatts installed in 46 countries, Gamesa is a global technological leader in the wind industry. Its end-to-end value chain presence encompasses wind turbine design, manufacture, installation and operations and maintenance (over 20,000 MW). The company is perennially ranked among the world’s leading wind turbine manufacturers and it has been present in the North American market for more than 10 years.

About UMaine Composites Center (
The University of Maine’s Advanced Structures and Composites Center’s award-winning research staff helps clients create innovations from concept through design, modeling, prototyping, testing and code compliance reporting. The 9,300-square-meter, $110 million, ISO 17025-accredited laboratory has a successful history of partnering with industry, completing over 500 product development and testing projects in the past five years.

About the University of Maine (
The University of Maine, founded in Orono in 1865, is the state’s premier public university. It is among the most comprehensive higher education institutions in the Northeast and attracts students from across the U.S. and more than 65 countries. It currently enrolls 11,286 total undergraduate and graduate students who can directly participate in groundbreaking research working with world-class scholars. The University of Maine offers doctoral degrees in 35 fields, representing the humanities, sciences, engineering and education; master’s degrees in roughly 70 disciplines; 90 undergraduate majors and academic programs; and one of the oldest and most prestigious honors programs in the U.S. The university promotes environmental stewardship on its campus, with substantial efforts aimed at conserving energy, recycling and adhering to green building standards in new construction.

Contact: John Arimond, 207.581.2336
UMaine Composites Center

Blade Arriving at UMaine

Blade Arriving at UMaine

Blade Testing at UMaine