Test system designed for 100 wind turbine blades

19 June 2012

Moog Industrial Group has been awarded a contract to supply a test system to National Renewable Energy Centre (Narec), to evaluate and test wind turbine blades at their new 100m blade testing facility in the UK.

The facility will be used by manufacturers of turbine blades to test prototype blade designs and manufacturing processes and will accommodate blades being designed for larger offshore wind turbines, complementing complement Narec’s existing capability to test blades in the 50m range.

Commenting on the project, Stuart Bibb, market manager, Moog Test Systems said: “Our division within Moog specialises in structural testing for the aerospace industry. Using computer-controlled hydraulic technology, we are able to simulate service loads to ascertain structural strength prior to initial flight-testing. For this application we were able to apply the same experience, technology and skills which, added to our in-depth understanding of Narec’s requirements, allowed us to deliver the right solution.”

Dean Goodwin, mechanical lead engineer, at Narec said “Narec undertakes fatigue testing of wind turbine blades using a hydraulic system to resonate the blade at its natural frequency. Moog’s track record in the aerospace industry provided us with the confidence in their solution for our new world-leading facility.”

Moog will supply and commission a test controller and monitoring system to control the Narec Control Resonance Mass (CRM), which is used to excite natural frequencies in the blade structure and hence evaluate the blades resistance to fatigue under representative dynamic loading conditions. The scope of supply will also include a very high flow PLC controlled hydraulic power unit, designed to interface with the primary control system.

The power unit, comprising six Moog RKP radial piston ppumps, has an installed power of 675 kW, delivering a flow of 1,200 lpm (pat a pressure of 280 Bar. A dedicated PLC controls and monitors the performance and health of the unit and a water cooling system maintains the temperature of the hydraulic fluid. High pressure hydraulic fluid is circulated around the facility by a custom designed distribution network.

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