Siemens Gamesa Testing 115-Metre-Long Wind Turbine Blade on Blaest’s New Test Rig

The wind turbine blade test centre Blaest in Aalborg, Denmark, inaugurated a new test rig on 26 September, in which the centre decided to invest after entering an agreement with Siemens Gamesa to test the company’s current range of offshore blades. The first blade is already being put through paces on the new test rig and it is the 115-metre-long B115 blade for the SG 14-236 Direct Drive turbine.

Photo: Blaest

“The new test rig plays a key role in fully testing the new generation of our rotor blades. The model under testing belongs to the largest turbine type we have ever made. With only 90 of these offshore wind turbines, we could cover the annual electricity consumption of a city the size of Amsterdam in The Netherlands. Accordingly, access to large test facilities is essential for our product validation,” said Peter Fuglsang, Siemens Gamesa’s Head of Technology Development Blades.

Blaest’s new test rig can accommodate wind turbine blades of over 120 metres in length.

The test centre says the rig weighs more than 1,000 tonnes and has advanced design features to secure optimised operational efficiency during testing, while at the same time reducing critical handling and lifting operations.

The new test rig is partly financed through a bank loan with a guarantee from the Export and Investment Fund of Denmark (EIFO) and is not supported through public grants, according to Blaest, which itself operates on a purely commercial basis and is jointly owned by Danish Technical University DTU, FORCE Technology and Det Norske Veritas (DNV).

Blaest’s blade test facility in Aalborg last year also started the testing of the 115.5-metre blade for Vestas’ V236-15.0 MW wind turbine as part of the prototype’s certification process.

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In a press release on 27 September, the test centre pointed out that structural testing of blades was a mandatory element in wind turbine certification and type testing, as well as that the size of wind turbines and their blades are increasing, with blades measuring more than 100 metres in length already in operation on prototype turbines.

Blaest’s Managing Director, Erik Steen Jensen, said: “Meeting the needs of the market and our customers is a key driver for our strategic focus. With this new test rig and all our other rigs, we are well prepared for the coming years of operation. We expect to see even longer blades within some years, and we are determined also to meet the testing needs for those blade sizes by further extending our capacity”.

The SG 14-236 Direct Drive (DD) prototype, Siemens Gamesa’s largest-ever wind turbine, was fully installed at the Danish National Test Centre for large wind turbines in Østerild in February and produced its first power the following month.

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With 115-metre-long blades, a rotor diameter of 236 metres, a 43,500 m2 swept area, and the turbine’s capacity of up to 15 MW with Power Boost, the SG 14-236 DD can produce 30 per cent more energy than its predecessor, the SG 11.0-200 DD, according to Siemens Gamesa.


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