Powering systems to test wind technologies

27 February 2023

A test rig is being developed by Danish wind turbine test specialist, R&D Test Systems, a company that develops projects and validates new technology with turnkey test systems. The rig will incorporate two 30 MW motors from WEG.

The 30 MW powertrain and gearbox test bench will be housed in ZF Wind Powers’ Test and Prototype Center in Lommel, Belgium. The test rig is designed to simulate the multiplicity of wind loads that a nacelle powertrain might experience in its lifetime, helping to improve product reliability and shorten time to market.

The test rig sees two nacelle components – for example two powertrains or two gearboxes – tested simultaneously. The 30 MW motors are positioned on each end of the nacelle components under test, with an additional load unit located between the two components that simulates wind loads comparable to real-world conditions Together, the motors and load unit can stimulate not only harsh wind loads, but also the effect of wind coming from different directions. 

Explaining the need for such a powerful system, Ralf Nieschler, Key Account Manager at R&D Test Systems, said: “The wind loads and directions can vary greatly, and each change creates loading on the nacelle powertrain. This new test rig must be much more powerful than the powertrain it tests, providing proof that the next generation of offshore turbines can operate reliably in extreme offshore conditions over the defined lifetime. The force of gusts of wind can push the blade around. This twisting and bending of the powertrain in all possible directions in the test rig will simulate the effect of 20 years of wind conditions, in just a few months.” 

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