115.5-Metre Vestas Wind Turbine Blade Put Through Its Paces in Denmark
The 115.5 m blade for Vestas’ V236-15.0 MW™ wind turbine is currently being tested at Blaest’s blade test facility in Aalborg, Denmark.
Before going into commercial production, the new V236-15.0 MW™ wind turbine will undergo comprehensive test campaigns which are a mandatory part of the type certification process. One of the tests to be performed is a full-scale structural test of the blade.
The test campaign, which is scheduled to take about one year, comprises extreme loading as well as fatigue testing to validate the design and manufacturing quality, and the blade’s ability to withstand decades of 24/7 operation in harsh offshore environments.
Alistair Tillman, Director of Test and Verification at Vestas, explains the reason for choosing Blaest to test the record breaking blade: ”Vestas has been partnering with Blaest to test blades since 2016. Therefore, it was a natural choice to go to them for this campaign. When choosing a partner for such a significant test programme, it is important that there is trust as well as them having the necessary competences and equipment to execute and keep to the agreed milestones. Blaest have all 3 of these essential ingredients.”
The first critical test has now been successfully completed, Blaest said. It is a static test where the blade is subjected to extreme loads replicating operational worst-case scenarios on the wind turbine, such as extreme wind conditions combined with various faults in the turbine control and safety systems. The load applied to the blade is equal to the weight of 20 African elephants standing in a row on top of the blade.
”Meeting the needs of the market and our customers is a key driver for our strategic focus. Many times before, our customers have selected Blaest to test their new blades – by then being the world’s largest. It is always a challenge to do something that nobody did before, but I am confident we will succeed. Preparations have been ongoing for about one year and we have the personnel, equipment and test methods ready for this mega blade,” Blaest’s Managing Director, Erik Steen Jensen, said.
Vestas rolled out the first blade built for the V236-15.0 MW™ offshore wind turbine prototype at the end of October.
Stretching 280 metres into the air with a production output of 80 GWh/year, the prototype will be the tallest and most powerful wind turbine in the world once fully installed at Østerild National Test Centre.
With a swept area exceeding 43,000 m2, one single V236-15.0 MW™ unit is capable of producing enough energy to power more than 20,000 households.
The turbine will have its offshore debut in 2024 at the Frederikshavn wind farm in Denmark.
In July last year, EnBW pre-selected Vestas to supply its 15 MW offshore turbines for the 900 MW He Dreiht project in the German North Sea and, a few months later, Equinor and bp named the company as the preferred turbine supplier for their 2.1 GW Empire Wind 1 and Empire Wind 2 projects in New York.
The model will also spin on the Atlantic Shores project off New Jersey, USA, the Inch Cape wind farm offshore Scotland, and the Baltic Power wind farm offshore Poland.
Operated on purely commercial basis, Blaest is jointly owned by Danish Technical University (DTU), FORCE Technology, and DNV.
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