ZF Wind Power Places 15 MW Test Rig Order at R&D Test Systems
ZF Wind Power has ordered a 15 MW end-of-line test rig from R&D Test Systems which will support the testing of two powertrains a day.
In the first quarter of 2024, the first serial-produced 15 MW powertrain for the offshore wind market will leave the ZF Wind Power factory in Lommel, Belgium.
Before these powertrains are shipped to the OEM’s destination, the system functionality of the complete powertrain (gearbox, generator, and main bearing assembly) needs to be verified, said ZF Wind Power.
“An end-of-line test cycle will check the function of the system under load, testing both hydraulics and sensor connections, as well as contact patterns for the gears, in addition to checking lubrication, temperature, pressure, and noise and vibration levels,” said Martin Knops, CTO of ZF Wind Power.
The end-of-line test bench will be delivered by R&D in the fall of 2023. The rig conducts energy-efficient load tests, powered by the 15 MW generators of the powertrains, providing an 18 MNm of torque to test the unit at high load levels, said ZF Wind Power.
This final test should ensure that the powertrain and all its connections work as they should, even when exposed to all forces of nature.
“The end-of-line test rig reduces mounting time by up to 90 percent which enables us to test two powertrains a day. This is a win-win situation for us and our partner Vestas,“ said Knops.
R&D Test Systems was also selected early in 2022 to supply a 30 MW validation test bench for ZF Wind Power’s Test & Prototype Center at the same site.
REPowerEU, the EU’s new energy policy, has doubled down on the expansion of offshore wind to help power Europe’s future energy system.
Currently, Europe’s installed offshore capacity stands at 30.3 GW, according to ZF Wind Power.
With new, more powerful turbines about to enter the market, the average installed offshore wind turbines are expected to see their power ratings increase from 2023 on, said ZF Wind Power.
The company, together with Vestas as its partner, is said to be able to manufacture innovative powertrain models for offshore turbines that can produce up to 80 GWh/year which is equivalent to the annual electricity consumption of 20,000 households.
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