U.K. engineers help Danish researchers build a better wind-turbine blade test

Published:  01 October, 2020

Moog Inc. (NYSE: MOG.A and MOG.B), a designer and manufacturer of high-performance motion control solutions, has helped create a testing facility for researchers at the Technical University of Denmark (DTU) Large Scale Facility, part of the Department of Wind Energy and the Villum Center for Advanced Structural and Material Testing (CASMaT).

Moog and its partner T A Savery designed and installed test equipment for three test stands, which can accommodate 15-, 25- and 45-meter wind turbine blades. Moog engineers carried out the installation and commissioning of the test equipment. Moog also is providing ongoing support to the DTU staff. The Moog scope of supply for the three blade test stands included: the hydraulic power plant and distribution network’ six hydraulic winches for the static testing; and a combination of eight mass resonance exciters (MRE) and linear actuator assemblies for dynamic test work. To design the winch assemblies, Moog collaborated with U.K.-based Qualter Hall, a provider of bespoke hoisting, winching and haulage systems.

Moog’s goal was to give DTU the latitude to conduct an array of tests. For example, if researchers wanted to use a test bay to conduct a dynamic test on a blade, the hydraulic system would accommodate wide pressure fluctuations. If the next test required a static one with winches, DTU could set the hydraulics to meet a very-low flow. Moog continues supporting DTU’s work by helping researchers who hope to increase the reliability of wind turbine blades.

“We will embed sensors in test blades with built-in defects and monitor how the damage grows, whilst the Moog exciters will put realistic loads on the blades,” says Dr. Kim Branner, senior research scientist and head of the Structural Design & Testing Team for DTU Wind Energy.

Branner sees the project helping blade makers build better blades but also creating a digitised twin of each blade that a wind farm operator can use to model what a blade’s future state might look like. If all goes according to plan, sometime soon, a wind farm control centre will be able to predict blade failure before it happens.


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