The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) and the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) have dedicated a new 5 MW Dynamometer Test Facility at NREL’s National Wind Technology Center.
According to the DOE, the $20 million facility enables NREL to work closely with industry engineers to enhance the drivetrains and other electrical systems in the country’s largest land-based wind turbines.
In a typical dynamometer test, the DOE explains, a powerful motor replaces the rotor and blades of a wind turbine. The testing focuses on the mechanical and electrical power-producing systems of a wind turbine, including gearboxes, power converters, bearings and control systems. NREL’s new facility uses a hydraulic device that simulates the rotation and bending that a wind turbine rotor places on a drivetrain.
The 5 MW dynamometer is also connected to a controllable grid interface, which can simulate the power grid and help system engineers better understand how wind turbines react to grid disturbances.
“With record growth over the last decade, as they look to the future, wind developers will be installing larger turbines, including off our nation’s shores, to deliver more clean, reliable electricity to U.S. consumers,” says DOE Wind & Water Technologies Office Director Jose Zayas.
Consultants at The Brattle Group, working in conjunction with Boston University and other researchers on a project funded by the U.S. Department of Energy’s Advanced Research Projects Agency – Energy, are developing a new technology that will help grid operators more actively manage power flows, reduce congestion and integrate renewables.
Brattle says the technology, which is based on topology control algorithms (TCA), allows for higher utilization of existing and new transmission projects. The technology gives grid operators the ability to reliably transfer power flows to less utilized portions of the grid, the company adds.
In the event of transmission congestion, Brattle reports that TCA quickly develops alternative network configurations to route some power away from and around the congested facilities by opening or closing selected circuit breakers.
GL Renewables Certification (GL RC) has awarded Siemens a “provisional type certificate” for the manufacturer’s 6 MW offshore wind turbine.
According to GL RC, the certificate is a milestone toward the final certification of the wind turbine. It attests the conformity of the wind turbine design, manufacturing and testing processes for all safety relevant items with the normative references, the company adds.
Siemens’ first SWT-6.0 was installed in 2011 at a test site in Denmark with a 120-meter rotor. The second 6 MW prototype, with a 154-meter rotor, was installed in 2012 at another Danish test center. This January, Siemens installed two additional SWT-6.0 prototypes in the British offshore wind power plant at DONG Energy’s demonstration project Gunfleet Sands III. Both turbines for this project are equipped with the 120-meter rotor.
REpower, part of the Suzlon Group, has announced a new offshore wind turbine. Dubbed the REpower 6.2M152, the turbine has a rated power capacity of 6.15 MW and a rotor diameter of 152 meters.
According to the company, the larger rotor diameter compared to the last generation – the REpower 6.2M126 (126 meters) – achieves an increase in energy yield by up to 20% at wind speeds of 9.5 m/s.
The company says it has already sold the prototype REpower 6.2M152 to an unidentified customer. The prototype will be constructed with a hub height of 124 meters at an onshore site in northern Germany, with construction scheduled for completion by the end of 2014. REpower expects the 6.2M152 to enter commercial production in 2015.
Products & Technology
DOE Dedicates Test Facility
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