Construction of 10MW testing rig gets under way

GERMANY: Construction work on Fraunhofer Institute for Wind Energy and Energy System Technology's 10MW nacelle testing laboratory has started in Bremerhaven, Germany.

Fraunhofer's facility in Bremerhaven, which tests blades too
Fraunhofer's facility in Bremerhaven, which tests blades too

The site, which will be finished in a year, will see the testing of drivetrains and the mechanical load they can take, and how much power can be put on the grid.

Nacelles weighing up to 400 tonnes can be assessed at the site, and the rig will be capable of testing turbines from 2MW up to 10MW.

The test facility received EUR 30 million funding from the German environment, nature conservation and nuclear safety ministry, the education and research ministry, the European Union and the state of Bremen.

Smaller components such as inverters, generators, pitch drives, bearing shafts and main shafts are also to be tested in the new building.

This lab is a sign of a trend in the industry for larger testing rigs as turbines increase in size.

The building for the UK's National Renewable Energy Centre’s 15MW turbine nacelle test facility in Blyth, Northumberland, was completed earlier this year. Vestas started operating a 20MW test bench at its research centre in Denmark last month.

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