Staff at the Fraunhofer Institute for Wind Energy and Energy System Technology (IWES) are moving into their new building in Hamburg-Bergedorf where a “large bearing laboratory“ to test blade bearings of wind turbines is under construction and due to be completed by late 2018. The aim is to increase the reliability and life span of wind turbines, secure the production of pitch bearings and use new technologies.
The new location will enable greater co-operation between the Competence Center for Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency (CC4E) and the nearby University of Applied Sciences in Hamburg (HAW). Prof. Peter Dalhoff, CC4E, noted: “Having the Fraunhofer IWES as a new neighbour to the energy campus in Hamburg is a great asset to us and the location. We are looking forward to joint research projects and extending our collaboration.”
Test pieces measuring up to five metres in diameter and which have been designed for 10 MW wind turbines will be tested in the new lab. The “large bearing laboratory“ is pivotal to the Highly Accelerated Pitch Bearing Test (HAPT). Methods for accelerated tests of blade bearings are to be developed in the laboratory with the Institute for Machine Design and Tribology (IMKT) at the Leibniz University of Hanover and the IMO Group.
Hamburg is investing around EUR 8.3 million in the site and the German Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy (BMWi) has approved some EUR 12 million for development and operation. The new test stand means blade bearings can be tested in real time. The research findings will make a valuable contribution to developing wind energy and encourage more firms in the sector to move to Hamburg. CC4E, the Renewable Energy Hamburg cluster and the Fraunhofer IWES are now aiming to expand wind energy research in north Germany and to open up new fields of research.
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