Wind turbine developers will soon have open access to a £50 million testing facility in the UK based on unique and leading-edge technology. The state-of-the-art 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.
This wind turbine test platform is being built at the National Renewable Energy Centre (NAREC http://www.narec.co.uk). It is designed to allow manufacturers to speed up the development time of their systems. 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 unit at the top of the tower housing the electricity generation system).
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, 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.
For more information, visit www.gepowerconversion.com.