Fraunhofer IWES Secures Funds for Offshore Wind Turbine Test Field

German Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy (BMWi) has awarded Fraunhofer IWES with an EUR 18.5 million grant for the development of an offshore wind turbine test field in Bremerhaven.

The test field is set to start operating in early 2017, the German research institute said, with construction works already underway.

The site will be used to test the 8MW Adwen AD 8-180 prototype, currently the largest wind turbine in the world with a rotor diameter of 180 meters, with the first measurements and tests scheduled to begin in spring.

”Comparison of field survey results with the data obtained on the large-scale test rigs will significantly expand the opportunities for further optimization of measuring and testing methods as well as risk mitigation for new turbine designs,” Fraunhofer IWES said.

The test field will be situated at the former airfield in Bremerhaven, in close proximity to the Fraunhofer nacelle test rig, enabling for Adwen’s 8MW turbine to be connected up to the existing IWES infrastructure without any major complications.

”Research and development are key for further reducing the costs involved in expanding offshore wind energy. The Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy is therefore providing funding worth €18.5 million for the testing ground for offshore installations in Bremerhaven. The aim is to test the operation of the installations under real-life conditions and gather important data that can be used to set up the installations on an industrial scale. We are thus making a contribution to strengthening the role of offshore wind energy as an important pillar of the energy transition,” said Uwe Beckmeyer, Parliamentary State Secretary at the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy.

Fraunhofer IWES will develop its research on testing procedures in close cooperation with Adwen GmbH.

”We are very pleased to collaborate with the Fraunhofer IWES in our field tests of our prototype of the AD 8-180. Already, the Fraunhofer IWES DyNaLab has allowed us to exhaustively validate our technology, resulting in great confidence about the optimal performance and reliability of the turbine. In this way we can develop cutting edge technology with minimum risk. That is crucial to continue reducing the cost of offshore wind energy,” said Luis Álvarez, General Manager of Adwen GmbH.

Similar to that of the offshore research wind farm alpha ventus, the wind turbine will also be available to other research partners as a research platform, Fraunhofer IWES said.