Energy Department Adds to Wind Turbine Testing
The Energy Department’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) added a new 5-megawatt (MW) Dynamometer Test Facility at its National Wind Technology Center (NWTC) outside Denver. The new facility dramatically expands the capability of NWTC engineers and their industry partners to verify the performance and reliability of wind turbine drivetrain prototypes and commercial machines.
The facility is capable of testing drivetrains up to 5 MW—large enough to test virtually any land-based turbine—and employs dynamically variable loading capabilities that will allow researchers to better simulate conditions a turbine might experience in the field.
A dynamometer system replaces the rotor and blades of a wind turbine and allows researchers to control the turbine drivetrain’s mechanical and electrical systems while simulating normal and extreme operating conditions. This testing previously has been done under torque loads only. The new state-of-the-art facility features a non-torque loading system into the testing regimen. A hydraulic device simulates both the rotational and bending loads that a wind turbine rotor places on a drivetrain.
The system features a 6-MW motor, which provides the power to a turbine during testing. The motor turns at very high speed and low torque. The motor drives a gearbox, which transforms the output to the high torque and low speed that is appropriate for a wind turbine drivetrain.
Dynamometer testing is used by industry to confirm proper operation and reduce the risk of deploying wind turbine prototypes before they are put into service. Reproducing operating conditions in a laboratory environment can verify the performance of a turbine’s systems, including generators, gearboxes, power converters, bearings, brakes, and control systems.
The first tests being done at NREL’s new dynamometer facility are on a 2.75-MW wind turbine the Energy Department acquired in partnership with General Electric (GE). The GE system is being used for the calibration and commissioning of the testing equipment in the facility, which will also provide the industry partner with useful data on this particular turbine model.
- Guide to Energy, Carbon and Environmental Software
- How to Automate the Collection & Delivery of Utility Billing Data
- Alarms Management: The Future is Now
- What You Need to Know About Demand Charges
- 2014 Energy and Sustainability Predictions: Findings from Leading Professionals
- Evaluation Guide: Four Steps to a Successful Lighting Evaluation
- How "Fixed" is the Fixed Price Product?
- The Value of Integrating Health, Safety and Environment Processes with Enterprise Asset Management
- Smarter Asset Management for the Nuclear Power Imperative
- The Business Case for Corporate Sustainability Tools
- BUYING STRATEGIES IN A VOLATILE MARKET: What Businesses Need to Know about Retail Electricity Procurement
- Smart Building Technology: The Key to Comprehensive Building Performance
- What Energy Managers Need to know about Procuring Natural Gas: Guidance for 2014 Natural Gas Contracts
- Energy Optimization from the Boiler Room to the Board Room
- Your Roadmap for Energy Management: First Stop – Myths & Realities of Energy Purchasing