Generating Reuse Possibilities For Retired Wind-Turbine Blades
Jiang, S R X.
Shu, L H.
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This work examines identifying reuses for wind-turbine blades that are retired when they reach the end of their technical life. Wind-turbine blades are made from fibercomposite materials, for which effective material-based recycling technologies are extremely limited. An approach to avoid or postpone recycling is to repurpose wind-turbine blades in other applications, as they should not be reused as windturbine blades for safety reasons.However, identifying promising reuses for wind-turbine blades is challenging due to their specific shape properties. In addition to issues of functional fixedness, wind-turbine blades are physically much larger than everyday objects with which people typically reason. Following a series of studies where engineering students were asked to identify wind-turbine-blade reuses, a method involving perspective-taking was developed and applied. The effects of this method on concept generation are reported and compared to SCAMPER, an existing design method. To better understand and motivate human designers, this work also incorporates psychological concepts, including Need for Closure and Regulatory Focus Theory.