Fraunhofer IWES builds 10-MW nacelle test stand

Planned test stand for wind energy nacelles (Illustration: Fraunhofer IWES / IDO
Planned test stand for wind energy nacelles (Illustration: Fraunhofer IWES / IDO

On 20 September, Fraunhofer IWES laid the foundation of a new 10-MW nacelle test stand. Fraunhofer IWES is building the test facility for complete wind turbine nacelles, which is unique worldwide, in Bremerhaven.

The test stand will have a power capacity of 10 MW, which corresponds to a dynamic power five times the thrust of a tug boat, to simulate the rotor wind load as well as an artificial medium voltage grid. This will allow full electrical system certification at DyNaLab, which is short for 'Dynamic Nacelle Testing Laboratory'.

Today, powerful and reliable systems consisting of larger and larger components must be built in increasingly shorter development times. Completely new concepts always carry a significant development risk - unless they can be thoroughly pre-tested. When the one-year construction phase is completed, DyNaLab will be able to provide exactly this type of testing for onshore and offshore nacelles weighing up to 400 tonnes.

With investments totalling € 30 million, the new test facility is receiving financial assistance from the Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety (BMU), the Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF), the European Union through funding under the ERDF Programme as well as from the State of Bremen and the Fraunhofer Society. Fraunhofer IWES closed ranks with the industry to develop an appropriate test facility as early as the design phase.

With the ability to perform extensive system tests in the laboratory, Fraunhofer IWES plays a central role in German wind energy research: Two test stands for rotor blades have already been operating successfully for several years and another for support structures will be commissioned in 2014. "Based on a test infrastructure that can realistically model almost all aspects of the complexity of wind energy systems, new approaches for future-oriented research projects can be implemented that will benefit the entire wind industry," emphasised Professor Andreas Reuter, the Director of the institute.

Katharina Garus

At a Glance:

FORCE TRANSMISSION: Dynamic application of 20 MNm bending moment and 2 MN thrust

NOMINAL / MAXIMUM POWER OF TEST STAND DRIVE: 10 MW / 15 MW

NOMINAL TORQUE: 8.6 MNm

GRID REPLICA: Artificial grid with 40 MVA of installed inverter power

MEASUREMENTS: More than 600 synchronous, high-resolution measurement channels

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