17 Feb Blaest builds new blade test rig
A new advanced test rig for +100 m offshore wind turbine blades is in preparation at the world’s largest commercial blade test centre in Aalborg, Denmark.
The wind energy market continues to grow and the predictions for the next decades are tremendous. Offshore wind farm projects increase in size and so does the size of wind turbines and their blades. +100 m blades are already in operation on prototype turbines, and more are expected in the near future.
Blade Test Centre A/S (Blaest) in Aalborg, Denmark experiences a high demand for full-scale structural blade testing from the wind turbine manufacturers. Blaest’s test capacity has therefore been almost fully loaded for years. Despite the continuously ongoing market consolidation among wind turbine and blade manufacturers, this situation is expected to continue.
Structural testing of blades is a mandatory element in wind turbine certification and type testing schemes. In addition, wind farm investors and wind turbine manufacturers focus on product verification and reliability to de-risk business cases and ensure long-term stable and reliable power supply.
Blaest decided to invest in a new blade test rig after entering an agreement with Siemens Gamesa Renewable Energy to test their current range of offshore blades. The first blade to be tested on the new test rig from the beginning of 2023 is the B115 blade for the SG 14-236 DD turbine.
Peter Fuglsang, Siemens Gamesa’s Head of Technology Development Blades expresses: “Access to large test rigs is very important to Siemens Gamesa for product validation, as we strive to lead the offshore revolution and lower the cost of offshore wind power. Siemens Gamesa looks forward to further building on our collaboration with Blaest, who we find to be a high quality and reliable partner with an extensive track record. The agreement settled with Blaest is key to enable the capacity and capabilities we need for full scale blade testing”.
Blaest’s Managing Director, Erik Steen Jensen follows: “Meeting the needs of the market and our customers is a key driver for our strategic focus. With this new test rig and all our other rigs, we will be well prepared for the coming years of operation. We expect to see even longer blades within some years, and we are determined also to meet the testing needs for those blade sizes”.
Blaest will manage the project through the design as well as the construction phase, extensively supported by the engineering consultants Frecon, being responsible for the overall design and design of steel structures; and ISC being responsible for design of concrete structures.
The new test rig with a weight of more than 1000 ton has advanced design features to secure optimised operational efficiency through the test performing, while at the same time reducing critical handling and lifting operations.