Engineering

Testing World’s Largest Wind Turbine

This test stand to cope with even the largest generators for wind turbines. Currently under construction is even large plant (with 8 MW power) to provided the future power supply to Bremerhaven (Germany). The ‘Dynalab’ eliminates the costly and time-consuming field trials, new plants will reach the market faster and as more reliable.

In no industry, technological progress is as dynamic as in wind turbines. This also means that the manufacturers are developing permanent new prototypes with more and more power. To certify this new equipment to test in practice and therefore also for the launch, is hugely expensive and complicated, especially in the offshore area. Sometimes, the wind turbines over several years in the hardness must be before they are really ready for the market.

Testing World’s Largest Wind Turbine

Testing World's Largest Wind Turbine
Gondolas with wind turbines up to 8 MW power in the new test facility in Bremerhaven. This will significantly reduce the launch time and costs. So far the generators must be tested more extensively in practice.

Now it should go faster and easier much. The Fraunhofer Institute for wind energy and energy system technology (FhG-IWES) opened ‘Dynalab’ in Bremerhaven the test facility, which was “globally unique”. For rotor blades, there are already large simulation laboratories, but go to the so-called gondolas, so the engine houses, which contain the drive train.

Short circuits can be simulated

The special feature of the new facility is one that here an enormous torque kNm is produced of 8600. Thus, for example, the action of storms can be simulated. On the other hand, the researchers for the tests produce a virtual medium voltage grid. Such short circuits and other sudden disturbances in the network can be tested. All this can be done in short order, so that the test phase should be significantly shorter to certification than in field trials.

Testing World's Largest Wind Turbine_
Bear shock absorber to move generators. For example, a generator for a 3 MW Wind Power Plant weight is 100 tonnes.

In the wind energy industry it means that the system manufacturer through the ‘Dynalab’ could save tens of millions and become even more efficient. The public sector contributed therefore €26.5 million to €35 million construction costs. “The test is for the wind power industry is invaluable,” says also Basurto, Manager at Adwen Maite. The company sits adjacent to the FhG-IWES and will have from December tested its new 8-MW plant there. “The tests are speed up the certification process and ensure the reliability of the 2018 in production turbines”, Basurto predicts.

Foundation for enormous burden laid out

The new test system will save not only time and money. Based on the findings could also “operational management and control will be optimized”, says the IWES. So the maintenance and repair costs could be in operation also reduce.

Testing World's Largest Wind Turbine__
At the end of the year a wind turbine with 8 MW of power will be tested in the Dynalab. Its a first test for such a large installation ever made.

Now only a three-MW generator was started for the inauguration after 18 months of construction. The manufacturer Jacobs Powertec will be certified the prototypes. Already this is around 100 t heavy. To test larger gondolas, the ‘Dynalab’ received a special Foundation with deep anchored concrete piles.