Spanish wind turbine maker Gamesa has signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with the Technical University of Madrid (UPM) for jointly designing, developing and operating a high-performance aerodynamic wind turbine testing tunnel.

To be set-up in Madrid, the facility is intended to become a European benchmark to evaluate and set standards in advanced aerodynamic, aeroacoustic, and aeroelastic measurements.

"There is no other facility in Europe in which all of these tests can be performed in combination."

UPM dean Carlos Conde said: "This aerodynamic tunnel will be cutting-edge by any measure: there is no other facility in Europe in which all of these tests can be performed in combination, offering applications not only for wind power but also for the railroad and civil engineering industries."

The new tunnel will facilitate Gamesa to conduct advanced full-rotor, aerodynamic noise measurements, dynamic tests and simulations.

Gamesa product development manager Antonio de la Torre said: "Once this facility is operative, we will be able to run these tests in Spain, which is where our R&D effort is based, underpinned by a staff of over 500 engineers."

The facility will be 70m-long and 50m-wide, and is scheduled to be operational from the last quarter of 2016.

It will be designed to enable static testing of wind turbine blades through the simulation of wind incidence from any direction and at any type of site.

The testing tunnel will be managed by a trust consisting of UPM representatives, Gamesa, and other sponsoring companies.