Wind Energy – Test Bench
Following the successful conclusion of the contract, the first customer for the Fraunhofer Institute for Wind Energy Systems IWES’ new rotor blade test bench has now been decided: the Danish wind turbine manufacturer Vestas will be testing the rotor blade of the new V236-15.0 MW prototype in Bremerhaven later this year.
The state-of-the-art test bench offers comprehensive testing possibilities for rotor blades measuring up to more than 120 meters.
In addition to biaxial full-scale blade tests, manufacturers also have the option of testing individual segments of a rotor blade. The modular and adaptable design of the test bench allows the scientists at Fraunhofer IWES to react flexibly to requirements and further develop intelligent test methods.
The rotor blade test bench currently still under construction is being funded by the German Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Climate Action (BMWK) to the tune of €14.8 million and has received €4 million in funding from the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF).
Rotor blades are growing ever larger and more powerful, which sees the wind industry faced with new challenges, since the testing options for these prototypes are limited.
Fraunhofer IWES is now filling this gap with the new large-scale rotor blade test bench currently under construction in Bremerhaven. It is capable of testing rotor blades with lengths of more than 120 meters and thus also provides a testing environment for the necessary validation and certification standards for offshore rotor blades in particular.
Vestas has now secured for itself the first test campaign on the new IWES test bench.
With the V236-15.0 MW™ wind turbine, which was developed for maximum efficiency in offshore environments all over the world, Vestas has achieved the largest swept area in the industry with a capacity factor of more than 60% from the 115.5-meter-long rotor blades.
Construction of the new test bench in Bremerhaven is currently coming along in leaps and bounds. The coming months will see the installation of the test block and setting up of the measurement technology, meaning the test campaign with the 115.5-meter-long rotor blade from Vestas will likely be able to get under way as of fall this year.