This experimental facility, set to become a European benchmark as it will be one of the most innovative and powerful in the world, will enable testing for wind power, railroad and civil engineering applications.
Gamesa, a global technology leader in wind energy, and UPM (acronym in Spanish for the Technical University of Madrid) have signed a memorandum of understanding for the joint design, development and operation of a high-performance aerodynamic testing tunnel in Madrid.
The facility is set to become a benchmark in Europe as it will enable the performance of extremely advanced aerodynamic, aeroacoustic and aeroelastic measurements. “This aerodynamic tunnel will be cutting-edge by any measure: there is no other facility in Europe in which all of these tests can be performed in combination, offering applications not only for wind power but also for the railroad and civil engineering industries”, said Carlos Conde, Dean of UPM. He went on to stress that “UPM is, without a doubt, the university institution best placed to carry out this initiative due to the numerous groups of researchers that have worked on advanced fluid mechanics and aerodynamics in recent decades.”
Meanwhile, Antonio de la Torre, Product Development Manager at Gamesa, explained that this new tunnel will allow the company to perform advanced full-rotor (three blades and hub) aerodynamic noise measurements, dynamic tests and simulations, all of which will help make its products more competitive, stressing that: “Until now we had to resort to university labs outside Spain to perform these tests. Once this facility is operative, we will be able to run these tests in Spain, which is where our R&D effort is based, underpinned by a staff of over 500 engineers”.
In addition, the facility, which will measure around 70 metres long and 50 metres wide, will enable static testing of turbine blades by simulating the incidence of wind from any direction and at any type of site.
The plan is that the tunnel, which will be managed by a trust comprising representatives from UPM and sponsoring companies such as Gamesa, will begin to operate during the last quarter of 2016.