GE helps build UK wind power test facility

7 June 2013 (Last Updated June 7th, 2013 03:30)

GE Power Conversion has delivered advanced technology for the £50m offshore wind turbine testing facility at the National Renewable Energy Centre (Narec) in the UK.

Narec testing facility

GE Power Conversion has delivered advanced technology for the £50m offshore wind turbine testing facility at the National Renewable Energy Centre (Narec) in the UK.

The facility has been designed for full-scale testing of large nacelles, and to advance the cost-effective development of the next generation of wind turbines.

The 3,000m² facility will feature a test rig capable of handling the performance, endurance and compressed life testing of complete nacelles, up to 15MW rating.

GE has designed and will commission a 15MW capacity test rig, which will feature a permanent magnet motor and a force application system, weighing more than 400 tonnes.

The Energy Technologies Institute (ETI) is investing £25m in the facility for the design, development and commissioning of the test rig.

The company has also delivered a heavy-duty, medium-voltage drive system, and automation and visualisation equipment, and will be responsible for the overall installation of the wind load simulator.

GE Power Conversion global business leader of test systems Franz Hubl said Narec customers will soon benefit from the improvements the facility will provide in sustainable wind energy.

The Energy Technologies Institute (ETI) is investing £25m in the facility for the design, development and commissioning of the test rig.

Narec chief executive Andrew Mill said the facility will have a significant impact on the improved design and operation of offshore wind turbines in the UK over the next 20 years.

"The early completion of building works is a significant achievement and we expect to have completed our first commercial test programme by the middle of next year," Mill added.


Image: The 3,000m² facility will feature GE's 15MW test rig and is designed for full-scale testing of large nacelles. Photo: Courtesy of National Renewable Energy Centre.

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