Feasibility study: Test Stand for new wind turbines

Thursday, 16 May, 2013 - 15:15

The Jülich Research Centre  in Germany is evaluating the construction and operation of a large test stand for drive trains of wind turbines with gearboxes. The Centre for Wind Power Drives (CWD) of the RWTH Aachen is participating in a corresponding feasibility study and is interested in using the test rig later.

In addition to a demand and cost analysis, the study will primarily examine the technical feasibility. A realistic simulation of the forces that occur in a wind turbine in the power range of 10 to 20 MW requires a massive test facility. A motor that can generate the corresponding drive forces would weigh about 500 tonnes and have a power equivalent to 10,000 to 20,000 kW - and has yet to be developed. In addition, another motion unit would be necessary, which would also weigh more than 100 tonnes, that could simulate shearing and vibration forces on the drive shaft.

"We want to check whether a measuring station of this size can be installed on the Jülich campus, together with the numerous highly sensitive instruments," says Ghaleb Natour, Director of the Central Institute for Engineering, Electronics and Analytics (ZEA-1), which is carrying out the study. Not only must the noise emission be taken into account. Various Jülich research groups operate high-and ultra-high-resolution microscopes. Natour's team is using vibration measurements and computer simulations to study how the vibrations caused by such a large test stand spread in the environment.

The results of the study, which is receiving € 318,000 from EU and state funds, are expected by the end of the year.

Katharina Garus

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