A consortium comprising GE Renewable Energy, LM Wind Power and TNO is to build what will be the world’s largest turbine rotor test rig
The rig is to be developed as part of the three-year STRETCH project, with partial funding from the Dutch Ministry of Economic Affairs.It is being built at LM Wind Power’s WMC Technology Centre in Wieringerwerf.
The rotor test rig will verify the strength and the dynamic behaviour of wind turbine rotors under the enormous mechanical loads caused by large blades.
Knowledge gained in the project will be used to improve existing design tools which, after verification using digital twins, will contribute to the design of larger rotors.
LM Wind Power vice president of engineering Hanif Mashal said, “Establishing the most advanced and largest rotor test rig of its kind shows our commitment to develop insights into rotor technology that go beyond blade production alone.
“With this innovative rotor rig, we will be able to verify pitch bearings and pitch systems that fix turbine blades to a hub, that enable a blade to capture the maximum energy possible while reducing loads on wind turbines.
“This capability will provide our customers with a better understanding of the dynamic behaviour of large onshore and offshore rotors and will help LM Wind Power design ultra-large rotor blades by stretching and improving the existing designs.”
TNO Wind Energy R&D manager Peter Eecen said, “Larger turbines are essential to shape the energy transition. Without innovations, larger turbines would become too heavy and too expensive to be commercially viable.
“Fast-paced innovation in wind turbine blade and rotor design, materials, construction and manufacturing have made the up-scaling of offshore wind turbines feasible and attractive around the world.
“We are thrilled by this chance to partner with the Dutch Government, GE Renewable Energy and LM Wind Power to advance the understanding of rotor technology, which will ultimately contribute to better designs that help make renewable wind energy even more reliable and affordable.”
The test rig is due to be commissioned in November 2020.
Riviera held a series of webinars on offshore wind in June. These are available to view in our webinar library