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United States

NREL hands Broadwind Dynamometer contract

UNITED STATES: The US National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) has awarded Broadwind a $1.37 million contract to design a 5.8MW gearbox.

The gearbox will be installed on a new dynamometer at NREL’s National Wind Technology Centre (NWTC). It will be delivered at the end of 2011.

Dynamometers are used to test wind turbine components, including generators, power converters, bearings, brakes and control systems. The aim is to be able to test tens of millions of inch-pounds of torque on large drive trains.

The project is being funded through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act.

Overseen by the DOE, the NREL is the only national laboratory in the US devoted exclusively to renewable energy. In 2009 alone it received $100 million under the act..

The injection of funds reflects the Obama administration's emphasis on clean energy and on generating jobs.

Of this stimulus money, some $10 million has gone towards the dynamometer project. It is due to be completed in 2012.

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