Fraunhofer IWES Launches Dynamic Nacelle Testing Laboratory

Fraunhofer IWES’ Dynamic Nacelle Testing Laboratory (DyNaLab) has started operating. 

After an 18-month construction period, a 100-tonne generator of a 3 MW wind turbine was set in motion on the new test stand. Fraunhofer IWES said the EUR 35 million infrastructure will boost the competitiveness of quality-conscious manufacturers on the international market and also significantly increase turbine availability and further reduction of the levelized costs of energy.

Also, the company Adwen will be bringing the drive train of its new 8 MW turbine to the DyNaLab. Exceptionally, the logistics involved in this cooperation do not present a challenge since the turbine is being built in the Bremerhaven workshop on the other side of the road.

With a drive performance of 10 MW and nominal torque introduction of 8.6 MNm, this laboratory offers testing facilities for prototype validation.

Operation got underway with the electrical certification of the generator from Jacobs Powertec according to FGW guidelines.

The use of a virtual 36,000 V medium voltage grid enables short circuits faults and other brief incidents in the grid to be tested with a high degree of repetition frequency and, as such, the duration of testing can be adapted to the certifier’s requirements.

Real-time models and control algorithms can be used to simulate real loads and interactions between nacelle and rotor on the test stand.

“With the grid and the hardware-in-the-loop wind load simulations, various loading scenarios can be simulated in a reproducible manner and the performance of a turbine in the event of emergency stops, multi dips in the grid following storms and grid short circuits due to faulty pitch regulation can be tested experimentally,” explained Prof. Andreas Reuter, Managing Director of the Fraunhofer IWES institute.

As such, operational management and control can be optimized and models validated. This makes an important contribution to increasing the reliability and availability of turbines and, at the same time, also reduces maintenance and repair costs.