A kick-off meeting has been held for a project funded by the EU that aims to accelerate the pace of development of wind energy technology and extend the lifetime of wind turbine components
The project foresees using innovative virtual and hybrid testing techniques for prototype validation of pitch bearing and gearbox components.
The project, INNTERESTING, is co-ordinated by the IKERLAN research centre, and has a budget of €4.75M (US$5.24M). The kick-off meeting took place on 15-16 January 2020 at KU Leuven in Belgium.
The full name of the project is ‘Innovative Future-Proof Testing Methods for Reliable Critical Components in Wind Turbines.’ The goal is to develop what the project partners describe as “a disruptive methodology” to demonstrate the reliability of critical components without needing larger test-benches.
The project is needed because offshore wind turbines in particular are becoming larger and larger. Existing product development processes (PDP) rely on a validation using a combination of physical and virtual testing. Although more advanced virtual modelling techniques are becoming available, it is still necessary to perform large-scale, full-size physical tests to demonstrate the reliability of components. Full-size physical tests are the final step and the most expensive and time-consuming part of the PDP. To deal with larger wind turbines, these tests require increasingly expensive test benches.
“The INNTERESTING methodology will help to save time and money during the PDP by integrating virtual testing and hybrid testing,” said the project partners. “It is expected that it will reduce the environmental and economic impact of full-scale testing too.”
The project was formed by a consortium of eight partners from three European countries: three R&D centres, IKERLAN (the project co-ordinator, in Spain), VTT (Finland), VITO (Belgium) and KU Leuven in Belgium.
Two manufacturers of wind turbine components are also involved, Laulagun in Spain, which has extensive experience in manufacturing large bearings for onshore and offshore wind turbines, and Moventas in Finland, which develops and manufactures gearboxes and related technology.
Also involved are Siemens Industry Software in Belgium, which specialises in computer-aided engineering simulation and testing solutions, and the Basque Energy Cluster in Spain.
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