Patents by Inventor Andrew Hedges

Andrew Hedges has filed for patents to protect the following inventions. This listing includes patent applications that are pending as well as patents that have already been granted by the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO).

  • Patent number: 11326575
    Abstract: A wind turbine blade and associated method of manufacture is described. The blade comprises an outer shell formed of first and second half shells joined together. A shear web is arranged inside the outer shell. The shear web has a web panel disposed between first and second longitudinally-extending mounting flanges. The shear web is bonded to inner surfaces of the respective half shells via a first adhesive bond line between the first mounting flange and the inner surface of the first half shell and a second adhesive bond line between the second mounting flange and the inner surface of the second half shell. One or more bond spacers are provided in the second bond line, and optionally in the first bond line. The bond spacers are compressed between a shear web mounting flange and an inner surface of a half shell and are plastically deformed. The method of making the shear web involves compressing and the one or bond spacers in the bond line(s) such that they undergo plastic deformation.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 4, 2018
    Date of Patent: May 10, 2022
    Assignee: Vestas Wind Systems A/S
    Inventors: Arne Haahr, Andrew Hedges, Morten Taulbjerg
  • Publication number: 20210276286
    Abstract: A method and apparatus (14) for assembling a reinforcement web (12) for use with a wind turbine blade (10) are provided. A pre-formed flange structure (20) to be integrated with laminate layers (58, 60) to form the reinforcement web (12) is clamped into position against a mould end surface (76) using one or more locating clamps (16). The locating clamps (16) include first and second clamp blocks (80, 82) that are shaped to provide an external profile that avoids resin collection and bridging during resin injection molding, while allowing for clamping to be applied to the flange structure (20) with an easily assembled and disassembled removable engagement of the clamp blocks (80, 82). The locating clamp (16) prevents undesirable dislodgment of the flange structure (20) during the assembly process for the reinforcement web (12), and without necessitating the use of complex or expensive molding equipment or processes.
    Type: Application
    Filed: January 16, 2018
    Publication date: September 9, 2021
    Applicants: Vestas Wind Systems A/S, Vestas Wind Systems A/S
    Inventors: Andrew Hedges, Dennis Vigsø Jensen
  • Patent number: 11072129
    Abstract: A method and apparatus for assembling a wind turbine blade (10) including first and second outer shell portions (16, 18) and an internal web (12) are provided. An adhesive material (42) is applied to a top end (30) of the internal web (12) as well as the edges (62, 64) of the first outer shell portion (16) for connection to the second outer shell portion (18). Localized heat energy is applied to pre-cure the adhesive material (42) at the top end (30) of the internal web (12) before applying heat energy to fully cure all of the adhesive material (42) in the wind turbine blade (10). The pre-curing is performed by a removable localized heater device (72), and it assures that the integrity of the bond between the internal web (12) and the second outer shell portion (18) is maintained during the full curing of the blade (10), when temporary thermal deformation of the outer shell (14) sometimes occurs.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 10, 2018
    Date of Patent: July 27, 2021
    Assignee: Vestas Wind Systems A/S
    Inventors: Andrew Hedges, Arne Haahr
  • Patent number: 11041477
    Abstract: A method of making an elongate reinforcing structure, such as a shear web, for a wind turbine blade is described. The reinforcing structure comprises a longitudinally-extending web and a longitudinally-extending flange. The flange extends along a longitudinal edge of the web and is arranged transversely to the web. The method involves providing a flange structure comprising a flange portion, and a projecting portion that extends along the length of the flange portion and projects transversely from a surface of the flange portion. The projecting portion is bonded between laminate layers of the web. The flange structure is preferably a pultruded component having a T-shaped cross-section. The method allows a simple, inexpensive and reconfigurable mould tool to be used. In preferred embodiments the mould tool has a flat surface without sidewalls.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 29, 2016
    Date of Patent: June 22, 2021
    Assignee: Vestas Wind Systems A/S
    Inventors: Steve Wardropper, Jonathan Smith, Andrew Hedges, Stephen Randall
  • Publication number: 20210180560
    Abstract: A method of making a wind turbine blade is described. The method involves providing a blade shell having an inner surface defining a mounting region and positioning a web in the mounting region. One or more web restraining devices are used to secure the position of the web in the mounting region. Each restraining device has a first portion attached to the web and a second portion attached to the inner surface of the blade shell. The restraining devices are configured to prevent movement of the web in a first plane substantially parallel to the mounting region and to permit movement of the web in a second plane substantially perpendicular to the mounting region. The method further comprises moving the web in the second plane away from the mounting region and performing one or more preparatory operations on the mounting region with the web moved away from the mounting region. The web is then repositioned in the mounting region by moving the web in the second plane back towards the mounting region.
    Type: Application
    Filed: November 6, 2018
    Publication date: June 17, 2021
    Inventors: Robert Charles Preston, Sean Keohan, Andrew Hedges
  • Publication number: 20210115892
    Abstract: A wind turbine blade and associated method of manufacture is described. The blade comprises an outer shell formed of first and second half shells joined together. A shear web is arranged inside the outer shell. The shear web has a web panel disposed between first and second longitudinally-extending mounting flanges. The shear web is bonded to inner surfaces of the respective half shells via a first adhesive bond line between the first mounting flange and the inner surface of the first half shell and a second adhesive bond line between the second mounting flange and the inner surface of the second half shell. One or more bond spacers are provided in the second bond line, and optionally in the first bond line. The bond spacers are compressed between a shear web mounting flange and an inner surface of a half shell and are plastically deformed. The method of making the shear web involves compressing and the one or bond spacers in the bond line(s) such that they undergo plastic deformation.
    Type: Application
    Filed: April 4, 2018
    Publication date: April 22, 2021
    Inventors: Arne Haahr, Andrew Hedges, Morten Taulbjerg
  • Publication number: 20210102523
    Abstract: A method of making a wind turbine blade is described. The wind turbine blade comprises first and second half shells joined together and a shear web bonded between inner surfaces of the respective half shells. The blade is made in a one-stage join up process, which involves supporting the half shells in respective mould halves, and arranging one of the half shells on top of the other half shell with the shear web arranged between the two half shells. Adhesive is provided between the shear web and the inner surfaces of the respective half shells. During the join-up process, the shear web is supported by stabilisers. The use of stabilisers avoids the need for a jig to support the shear web. Stabilisers attached to an inboard end of the shear web may remain accessible after the join-up and can be removed.
    Type: Application
    Filed: April 4, 2018
    Publication date: April 8, 2021
    Inventors: Jonathan Smith, Andrew Hedges
  • Publication number: 20190358911
    Abstract: A method and apparatus for assembling a wind turbine blade (10) including first and second outer shell portions (16, 18) and an internal web (12) are provided. An adhesive material (42) is applied to a top end (30) of the internal web (12) as well as the edges (62, 64) of the first outer shell portion (16) for connection to the second outer shell portion (18). Localized heat energy is applied to pre-cure the adhesive material (42) at the top end (30) of the internal web (12) before applying heat energy to fully cure all of the adhesive material (42) in the wind turbine blade (10). The pre-curing is performed by a removable localized heater device (72), and it assures that the integrity of the bond between the internal web (12) and the second outer shell portion (18) is maintained during the full curing of the blade (10), when temporary thermal deformation of the outer shell (14) sometimes occurs.
    Type: Application
    Filed: January 10, 2018
    Publication date: November 28, 2019
    Inventors: Andrew Hedges, Arne Haahr
  • Patent number: 10179359
    Abstract: A method of fabricating a composite joint from a first cured composite component (13) and a second cured composite component (14), the first and second cured composite components (13, 14) comprising fiber elements embedded in a thermoset resin matrix; the method comprising the steps of providing an adhesive (15) on at least one of the first and/or second composite components (13, 14); forming a joint region between the first and second composite component by bringing the first and second composite component into contact with each other with the adhesive (15) therebetween; applying a force to the joint region (16, 17); and heating the first composite component in the joint region to a temperature above the glass transition temperature of the thermoset resin matrix of the first composite component.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 7, 2011
    Date of Patent: January 15, 2019
    Assignee: Vestas Wind Systems A/S
    Inventors: Andrew Hedges, Kim Sylvester Nielsen
  • Patent number: 10160171
    Abstract: A method of making a wind turbine blade in a blade mould is described. The wind turbine blade comprises a plurality of elongate reinforcing structures each comprising a stack of strips of fibre-reinforced polymeric material, and the method comprises: stacking strips of fibre-reinforced polymeric material to form a plurality of stacks (40), each defining a longitudinal axis; aligning the stacks relative to one another in an alignment zone outside the blade mould; supporting the stacks to maintain their relative alignment; transferring the plurality of stacks into the blade mould simultaneously while maintaining the relative alignment of stacks as the stacks are transferred; and integrating the stacks with other blade materials forming the blade in the blade mould. An apparatus for use in the method is also described.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 10, 2014
    Date of Patent: December 25, 2018
    Assignee: Vestas Wind Systems A/S
    Inventors: Anton Bech, Christopher Boon, Andrew Hedges, Anders Greve Bervang
  • Publication number: 20180297308
    Abstract: The invention relates to a structural mat for reinforcing a wind turbine blade structure. The structural mat comprises two or more groups of bonded fibres, the fibres being bonded by a matrix substantially preventing relative movement of said fibres and wherein said groups are connected to each other by connection means limiting the relative movement of said groups. The invention further relates to a wind turbine blade and a method for manufacturing a wind turbine blade.
    Type: Application
    Filed: January 8, 2018
    Publication date: October 18, 2018
    Inventors: Andrew Hedges, Tomas Vronsky
  • Publication number: 20180283349
    Abstract: A method of making an elongate reinforcing structure, such as a shear web, for a wind turbine blade is described. The reinforcing structure comprises a longitudinally-extending web and a longitudinally-extending flange. The flange extends along a longitudinal edge of the web and is arranged transversely to the web. The method involves providing a flange structure comprising a flange portion, and a projecting portion that extends along the length of the flange portion and projects transversely from a surface of the flange portion. The projecting portion is bonded between laminate layers of the web. The flange structure is preferably a pultruded component having a T-shaped cross-section. The method allows a simple, inexpensive and reconfigurable mould tool to be used. In preferred embodiments the mould tool has a flat surface without sidewalls.
    Type: Application
    Filed: April 29, 2016
    Publication date: October 4, 2018
    Inventors: Steve Wardropper, Jonathan Smith, Andrew Hedges, Stephen Randall
  • Patent number: 9969133
    Abstract: An apparatus for positioning sheets of material in a wind turbine blade mold to form a shell of a wind turbine blade, the mold having a mold surface defining the profile of a portion of the shell, the apparatus comprising: a rail that, in use, is mounted proximate to the mold and follows a path in a direction along the longitudinal length of the mold; and a sheet mounting apparatus coupled to the rail, the mounting apparatus configured to releasably hold a sheet of material and to move along the rail.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 19, 2013
    Date of Patent: May 15, 2018
    Assignee: Vestas Wind Systems A/S
    Inventors: Andrew Hedges, Byungwoo Lee
  • Patent number: 9944024
    Abstract: A production system for a wind turbine component is described. The system includes an elongate mold assembly extending in a longitudinal direction, the mold assembly comprising a mold surface and having a width that varies in the longitudinal direction. First and second tracks are defined respectively on opposite longitudinal sides of the mold surface. The perpendicular distance between the respective tracks varies along the length of the track. A transport assembly is moveable relative the mold assembly in the longitudinal direction. The transport assembly includes a pair of side supports arranged to move along the respective tracks, and a gantry supported above the mold assembly by the side supports. The gantry extends transverse to the longitudinal direction.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 30, 2013
    Date of Patent: April 17, 2018
    Assignee: Vestas Wind Systems A/S
    Inventors: Andrew Hedges, Damien Rajasingam
  • Patent number: 9895856
    Abstract: The invention relates to a structural mat for reinforcing a wind turbine blade structure. The structural mat comprises two or more groups of bonded fibers, the fibers being bonded by a matrix substantially preventing relative movement of said fibers and wherein said groups are connected to each other by connection means limiting the relative movement of said groups. The invention further relates to a wind turbine blade and a method for manufacturing a wind turbine blade.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 16, 2013
    Date of Patent: February 20, 2018
    Assignee: Vestas Wind Systems A/S
    Inventors: Andrew Hedges, Tomas Vronsky
  • Patent number: 9525716
    Abstract: Techniques for rendering a webview in a host application are described. A webview in a host application is identified, the webview including at least one function call to a first function. Additionally, one or more application-specific URL values corresponding to a URL command scheme for the host application are identified. A URL scheme object is populated with the identified one or more application-specific URL values, the populated URL scheme object including a function definition for the first function that is associated with a first one of the one or more application-specific URL values. The populated URL scheme object is then inserted into the identified webview, such that when the webview is rendered and one of the at least one function calls is made, the function definition in the inserted URL scheme object is executed to transmit a request to an address portion of the first application-specific URL value.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 27, 2012
    Date of Patent: December 20, 2016
    Assignee: Disney Enterprises, Inc.
    Inventors: James Isaacs, Andrew Hedges
  • Publication number: 20160354984
    Abstract: A production system for a wind turbine component is described. The system includes an elongate mould assembly extending in a longitudinal direction, the mould assembly comprising a mould surface and having a width that varies in the longitudinal direction. First and second tracks are defined respectively on opposite longitudinal sides of the mould surface. The perpendicular distance between the respective tracks varies along the length of the track. A transport assembly is moveable relative the mould assembly in the longitudinal direction. The transport assembly includes a pair of side supports arranged to move along the respective tracks, and a gantry supported above the mould assembly by the side supports. The gantry extends transverse to the longitudinal direction.
    Type: Application
    Filed: September 30, 2013
    Publication date: December 8, 2016
    Applicant: Vestas Wind Systems A/S
    Inventors: Andrew Hedges, Damien Rajasingam
  • Publication number: 20160263843
    Abstract: A method of making a wind turbine blade in a blade mould is described. The wind turbine blade comprises a plurality of elongate reinforcing structures each comprising a stack of strips of fibre-reinforced polymeric material, and the method comprises: stacking strips of fibre-reinforced polymeric material to form a plurality of stacks (40), each defining a longitudinal axis; aligning the stacks relative to one another in an alignment zone outside the blade mould; supporting the stacks to maintain their relative alignment; transferring the plurality of stacks into the blade mould simultaneously while maintaining the relative alignment of stacks as the stacks are transferred; and integrating the stacks with other blade materials forming the blade in the blade mould. An apparatus for use in the method is also described.
    Type: Application
    Filed: November 10, 2014
    Publication date: September 15, 2016
    Inventors: Anton Bech, Christopher Boon, Andrew Hedges, Anders Greve Bervang
  • Publication number: 20150298403
    Abstract: An apparatus for positioning sheets of material in a wind turbine blade mould to form a shell of a wind turbine blade, the mould having a mould surface defining the profile of a portion of the shell, the apparatus comprising: a rail that, in use, is mounted proximate to the mould and follows a path in a direction along the longitudinal length of the mould; and a sheet mounting apparatus coupled to the rail, the mounting apparatus configured to releasably hold a sheet of material and to move along the rail.
    Type: Application
    Filed: December 19, 2013
    Publication date: October 22, 2015
    Inventors: Andrew HEDGES, Byungwoo LEE
  • Patent number: 9068559
    Abstract: The invention relates to a rotor blade for a wind turbine. The rotor blade comprises a shell and a spar forming a longitudinally extending hollow structure within the shell and comprising: a leading web, a trailing web, and one or more additional webs. Each additional web defines an intermediate portion between a hub end and a tip end. The intermediate portion of each additional web is spaced apart from the leading and trailing webs and at least one of the tip and the hub ends is connected to or integral with the leading or the trailing web. The invention further relates to a wind turbine comprising the rotor blade, and a method for manufacturing the rotor blade.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 15, 2010
    Date of Patent: June 30, 2015
    Assignee: Vestas Wind Systems A/S
    Inventors: Mark Hancock, Andrew Hedges, Rens Christiaan Verhoef, Anton Bech, Tomas Vronsky