Most technologically advanced and largest wind turbine rotor test rig of its kind is being constructed at LM Wind Power’s WMC Technology Center Netherlands in Wieringerwerf.
Facility will provide GE’s wind energy business with in-house testing capability.
Test rig is designed to enhance, through an advanced testing program, rotor design and modelling tools.
GE Renewable Energy today shared an update on progress to construct the largest wind turbine rotor test rig of its kind.
The test facility is being constructed at LM Wind Power’s WMC Technology Center in Wieringerwerf, the Netherlands – located on the border of the IJsselmeer, approximately 70 kilometers north of Amsterdam.
A consortium comprising of GE Renewable Energy, LM Wind Power and TNO was established to construct this test rig under the three-year STRETCH project, with partial funding from the Dutch Ministry of Economic Affairs.
The rotor test rig will allow for verification of the strength and the dynamic behaviour of wind turbine rotors under the enormous mechanical loads caused by large blades. Knowledge gained in the project will be used to improve existing design tools which, after verification through digital twin concepts, will contribute to the design of larger rotors.
Hanif Mashal, LM Wind Power Vice President of Engineering, stated: “Establishing the most advanced and largest rotor test rig of its kind shows our commitment to develop insights into rotor technology that go beyond blade production alone. With this innovative rotor rig, we will be able to verify in-house the pitch bearings and pitch system that fix the wind turbine blades to the hub and allows pitching blade maximizing captured energy while reducing loads on wind turbine. This capability will provide our customers with a better understanding of the dynamic behaviour of large onshore and offshore rotors and will help LM Wind Power design ultra-large rotor blades by stretching and improving the existing designs.”
Peter Eecen, TNO Wind Energy R&D Manager, added: “Larger turbines are essential to shape the much-required energy transition. Without innovations, larger turbines would become too heavy and too expensive to be commercially viable. Fast-paced innovation in wind turbine blade and rotor design, materials, construction and manufacturing have made the up-scaling of offshore wind turbines feasible and attractive around the world. We are thrilled by this chance to partner with the Dutch government, GE Renewable Energy and LM Wind Power to advance the understanding of rotor technology, which will ultimately contribute to better designs that help make renewable wind energy even more reliable and affordable.”
Test rig construction and commissioning are expected to be completed in November 2020.
LM Wind Power, a GE Renewable Energy business, is a world leading designer and manufacturer of rotor blades for wind turbines, with a global manufacturing footprint that includes blade factories in Brazil, Canada, China, Denmark, France, India, Poland, Spain, Turkey and the United States, as well as technology centers in Denmark, The Netherlands, India, the US and UK. The company has produced more than 228,000 blades since 1978, corresponding to more than 113 GW installed capacity and global savings of 242 million metric tons of CO2 annually. In 2018, LM Wind Power became the first carbon neutral business in the wind industry.