The Fraunhofer IWES is building a large test stand for blade bearings of wind turbines at the Technologiezentrum Energie-Campus Bergedorf at the University of Applied Sciences (HAW) in co-operation with the Competence Center for Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency (CC4E). The aim is to increase the reliability and life span of wind turbines, secure the production of pitch bearings and use new technologies.
Boost for wind energy research in Hamburg
“Hamburg is already among Germany’s leading wind energy research centres. The famous Fraunhofer IWES is now launching a department in Hamburg and will boost the entire sector here,” said Katharina Fegebank, Senator for Science and Research and Equality. Wind energy giants such as NORDEX, Siemens Windpower, Senvion und Suzlon are already based in the city. The expansion of wind energy in north Germany “is now raising international visibility and helps companies develop their products”, she added.
Research unique in Europe
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. Construction will start next spring. The Fraunhofer IWES is to start operating the test stand from early 2018. It will be used jointly with CC4E for applied research. “What is being built here is unique in Europe,” stressed Dr. Eva Gümbel, State Councillor at the Authority for Science, Research and Equality. The new test stand means the blade bearings can be tested in real time. The research findings will make a valuable contribution to developing wind energy and encourage more sector-related firms to move to Hamburg.
Fraunhofer IWES Nordwest
Professor Dr.-Ing. Andreas Reuter, Director of the Fraunhofer IWES Nordwest, said: “Today, we are seeing the largest rotating plants ever built by man. That is a huge engineering achievement and we are breaking new ground in many areas.” Founded in 2009, the Fraunhofer IWES Nordwest ensures investments in technological developments in wind energy through its validation services. Hamburg’s wind energy sector is gaining access to a unique testing infrastructure, state-of-the-art laboratories and to 500 highly qualified scientists through Fraunhofer IWES. Reuter noted: “Wind energy is important not only for the energy transition, but also economically. We export wind energy all over the world.” Germany leads the way in terms of the technology and know-how. Hamburg is “Europe’s wind capital” and thus an important location.
Wind and smart grid laboratory in CC4E
CC4E’s research findings improve the understanding of wind energy generation, plant management and grid integration as well as storage. Professor Dr. Werner Beba, Director of CC4E, gave two research targets: “Wind energy must become quieter. To this end, we are researching acoustics in our wind laboratory. And wind energy must become more intelligent.” Efficient and intelligent solutions for the interaction between energy generation, consumption and storage must be developed and tested. A wind farm with wind turbines of 2 to 3 MW is also being planned.”