MassCEC to Trial 130-Metre Wind Turbine Blades with New Test Bench
Denmark-based R&D Test Systems has delivered a new test bench for the next generation of wind turbine blades to the Massachusetts Clean Energy Center’s (MassCEC) Wind Technology Testing Center (WTTC).
This was part of the USD 4 million US Department of Energy (DOE) and MassCEC’s grant to upgrade the blade testing equipment to accommodate the new and longer blades for the larger offshore turbine models.
With the new test bench from R&D Test Systems, WTTC is able to perform dual-axis testing, allowing more realistic test loads and results, said the company.
The new full-scale multi-axis fatigue blade test system could also shorten the test time, as WTTC can use the same setup to test flap- and edge-wise fatigue test without changing the test setup.
The new dual-axis exciter is approximately 40 per cent larger in size and force and is able to apply 240 kN into the blade with an excitation power of 420 kW, enabling the system to test blades up to 130 metres long.
“This is the first commercial dual-axis system that we have delivered. As American owned company by MTS and ITW it is a strategic goal to increase our US activities”, said Niels Pederse, Key Account Manager from R&D Test Systems.
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The blade exciter consists of two units that can deliver individual force and power up to 120 kN and 210 kW, respectively. The units can be used in combination for parallel or dual-axis operation or separately on other test areas.
“As a testing facility, we must be ready for what the OEMs will develop next. And with this test equipment, we will have the setup to meet the requirements, improve the testing quality, and simultaneously shorten the test time significantly,” said Rahul Yarala, Executive Director at WTTC.
After being assembled in Denmark, the test bench was shipped to Boston, US. During April, R&D Test Systems installed and commissioned the system on-site.
Following the commissioning, the test system was handed over to WTTC, which is already running the first test cycles with the blade exciter.
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