Clemson University in Charleston, SC, this week dedicated the Wind Turbine Drivetrain Testing Facility and Electrical Grid Simulator.
Dubbed the “SCE&G Energy Innovation Center,” the facility houses the new wind-turbine drivetrain testing facility capable of full-scale highly accelerated mechanical and electrical testing of advanced drivetrain systems for wind turbines. A drivetrain takes energy generated by a turbine’s blades and increases the rotational speed to drive the electrical generator, similar to the transmission in a car.
The center also houses a 15 MW hardware-in-the-loop grid simulator – the Duke Energy eGRID.
In November 2009, the US Department of Energy awarded Clemson University a $45 million grant toward development of the 82,000-sq-foot-facility. Along with additional public and private funds, this $110 million facility is now complete and will enable offshore wind turbine manufacturers to test prototype and next-generation turbines.
Just this week, the DOE’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory dedicated its new Dynamometer Test Facility, which offers industry engineers the opportunity to conduct a wide range of tests on the mechanical and electrical power producing systems of a wind turbine.