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Windtech: Blade testing - Centre in Asia open for business

A new test centre for turbine rotor blades at Vadodara in Gujarat, India, is now open.

The Blade Test Center Gujarat has completed its first project - full static and dynamic testing of a blade for a wind turbine from Suzlon, using a system specifically developed by US company Moog for blades measuring up to 65 metres. The centre claims to be the first in Asia that can type-certify blades to the international standards developed for turbine blades by the International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC). It is owned by Suzlon, an Indian supplier of wind turbines internationally.

"The new Moog test system gives us a multitude of benefits ranging from cost-efficient operation to reduced development time of new blades," says Dr Wim Barendswaard, the centre's general manager. To develop the $2 million system, Moog, a designer, manufacturer and integrator of precision control components, drew on experience with similar test-rig installations for other industries and its knowledge of helicopter test techniques and hydraulic actuation. "Our aim is to bring Moog's motion control and testing experience to bear on the challenges facing today's wind turbine makers and buyers," says Steve Huckvale, president of Moog's Industrial Systems Group. The test system for Suzlon consists of a controller accommodating eight channels, with six dedicated to the electric system to perform static tests and two dedicated to the hydraulic system to run dynamic testing, says Moog. The system includes winches able to load up to 200kN and 1500mm stroke hydraulic cylinders.

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