Nacelle testing laboratory started operation

October 20, 2015

Electrical certification on the test stand instead of prolonged field tests – Fraunhofer IWES´ “Dynamic Nacelle Testing Laboratory” will serve to satisfy the expectations and demands of many wind turbine manufacturers. After an 18-month construction period, the 100-tonne generator of a 3 MW wind turbine was set into motion on the new test stand. The 35 million euro infrastructure will boost the competitiveness of quality-conscious manufacturers on the international market and also significantly increase turbine availability and further reduction of the levelized costs of energy.

© Martina Buchholz
© Martina Buchholz

Fraunhofer IWES “Dynamic Nacelle Testing Laboratory” (DyNaLab) sets new standards in the testing of wind turbines: With a drive performance of 10 MW and nominal torque introduction of 8.6 MNm, this laboratory offers unique testing facilities for prototype validation. 250 decision makers from the wind energy and political sector joined the official start-up of this immense machine.


Laboratory tests for higher speed of innovation

Operation got underway with the electrical certification of the generator from Jacobs Powertec according to FGW guidelines. In light of the rapidly accelerating pace of development, realistic tests are becoming increasingly essential for manufacturers of wind turbines to enable them to launch new, high-quality turbine designs on the market. The use of a virtual 36,000 V medium voltage grid enables short circuits faults and other brief incidents in the grid to be tested with a high degree of repetition frequency and, as such, the duration of testing can be adapted to the certifier´s requirements. Real-time models and control algorithms can be used to simulate real loads and interactions between nacelle and rotor on the test stand.



“With the grid and the hardware-in-the-loop wind load simulations, various loading scenarios can be simulated in a reproducible manner and the performance of a turbine in the event of emergency stops, multi dips in the grid following storms and grid short circuits due to faulty pitch regulation can be tested experimentally,” explained Prof. Andreas Reuter, Managing Director of the Fraunhofer IWES institute.

As such, operational management and control can be optimised and models validated. This makes an important contribution to increasing the reliability and availability of turbines and, at the same time, also reduces maintenance and repair costs.

8 MW giant equates to a record-breaking order

With the drive train of its new 8 MW turbine, the company Adwen will be bringing a real "giant" to the DyNaLab. Exceptionally, the logistics involved in this cooperation do not present a challenge since the turbine is being built in the Bremerhaven workshop on the other side of the road. The proximity to the quayside is a key prerequisite for nacelles which have a long journey ahead.

The funding concept is proving a success: Manufacturers are making active use of the option of risk minimization for their developments and, with the market launch of fail-safe, efficient turbines, are driving the further expansion of the wind energy sector.