SGRE unveils 'world's largest' blade rig

Siemens Gamesa Renewable Energy (SGRE) is building what it claims is the world's largest blade testing rig at its facilities in northern Denmark.

SGRE said the new test rig for its B94 blades is the largest is the world

The massive test rig under construction in Aalborg will initially be used to test SGRE’s B94 blades for its SG 10.0-193 offshore wind turbine.

"The first tests will be on the 94 metre  blades for the SG 10.0-193 DD offshore wind turbine. We are however building the test stand to accommodate the blade sizes that we will see in the future," said SGRE head of validation means managements, Vicente García Muñoz.

Once in operation, the full rig occupies a large, open space next to the manufacturer’s blade production and testing halls.

A large area in front for the blades during static and dynamic testing supplements the rig’s upper steel-reinforced concrete structure with mounting flange.

SGRE's new test rig under construction in Aalborg

The slightly backwards-leaning unfinished upper structure comprises a complex array of steel-reinforcement bars and slotted-steel disk-shaped rings.

These elements will become an integral part of attaching the blades to the rig, with a heavy-duty steel mounting flange for various blade root diameters.

This requires very long bolts extending from the front flange to the structure’s rear.

Rig project manager Lars Heltoft explained: "The upper structure has a six-degree tilt, creating sufficient free space for accommodating the large blade deflections during static and dynamic testing."

Early designs

The huge new rig adds to SGRE's smaller test stands at its Aalborg blade facility.

This includes early designs comprising a ‘real’ rotor hub for single-blade mounting and steel support structure.

SGRE's existing outdoor rig putting a B81 blade for the 8MW turbine through testing

SGRE’s two current largest test rigs at the site are also constructed with steel-reinforced concrete.

There is one operating in the open-air and the second ‘under cover’, but both are used for testing and validating the B81 blades for SGRE’s 8MW offshore wind turbine with a 167-metre rotor.

The outside rig is used for static tests, while the inside rig is to perform dynamic tests with the cover preventing unwanted external wind loads impacting measurements.