GE builds wind turbine test platform for U.K manufacturers

By Editor


Greentech Lead Europe: GE announced it is building a wind turbine test platform for the wind turbine developers in the U.K that provides emulation and validation under real-life conditions.

Wind turbine developers will soon have open access to a £50 million testing facility in the U.K. based on unique and leading-edge technology. The facility has been specifically designed for full-scale testing of large nacelles.

GE’s Power Conversion allows them to develop and build the next generation of wind turbines that will be increasingly efficient, reliable and cost-effective.

In order to achieve this, a tailor-made, 35-meter-high, 3,000-sq.-meter facility to house the test rig was constructed on designs allowing it to be capable of handling the performance, endurance and compressed life testing of complete nacelles.

The installation that GE has designed and will commission is comprised of the direct-drive, permanent magnet motor, one of the first of its kind, which will run at up to 30 rpm and with a maximum force of 14.3 million NM (Newton Meter), resulting in a power of over 20,000 hp, which is equivalent to the driving power of 150 passenger cars.

GE is responsible for the turnkey package for the test facility from the grid supply to the motor shaft, including a heavy-duty, medium-voltage drive system and comprehensive automation and visualization equipment, as well as overlooking the overall installation with the wind load simulator.

The Energy Technologies Institute (ETI) is investing £25 million in the NAREC facility, through the design, development and commissioning of the test rig by GE Power Conversion and MTS Systems Corporation. It is a public-private partnership between global energy and engineering companies and the U.K. government to bring together engineering projects that accelerate the development of affordable, secure and sustainable technologies.

GE officials said NAREC customers will soon benefit from this facility and the improvements that it will deliver in sustainable wind energy.

NAREC has invested more than £125 million of U.K. government, private sector and European Union funding to create a unique integrated portfolio of testing and research facilities for renewable energy, operated on an open-access commercial basis in Blyth, Northumberland, England.

The 15-megawatt permanent magnet motor, serving as the main driver to emulate the wind speed, with a rating of 20,000 hp, has been developed and supplied by GE, Rugby, and features superior dynamics in conjunction with the controls, supplied by GE, Berlin.

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