The Fraunhofer Institute for Wind Energy and Energy System Technology (IWES) celebrated its topping out ceremony at the Technology Centre for Energy in Bergedorf Wednesday (November 15, 2017). Germany’s leading institute for wind energy research has built a new, large-scale test centre for blade bearings on wind turbines there. The Competence Center for Renewable Energies and Energy Efficiency (CC4E) at HAW offers 15 scientists a 1,400 square metre usage area and a large testing hall.
Greater reliability thanks to realistic testing procedure
Blade bearings of up to five metres in diameter can be measured at CC4E in realistic operating conditions. “The main feature of the large-scale testing facility will be accurately connecting very large blade bearings. Features of the blade and hub will be simulated as required for this purpose. During accelerated testing methods, normal 20-year operating loads will be examined in just a few months. The design method will be improved based on the results of wear-and-tear and ageing,” said Prof. Dr.-Ing. Andreas Reuter, Director of IWES.
Over EUR 8 million in municipal funding
Shorter testing periods are important for wind energy plants to achieve greater reliability and to lower energy costs. IWES will operate the new testing facility and use the infrastructure with CC4E for research purposes. The German Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy (BMWi) has approved EUR 12 million in funding while the City of Hamburg has invested EUR 8.3 million in the site and buildings. Katharina Fegebank, Senator for Science, noted: “The establishment of the renowned IWES is an important, further step for Hamburg as a centre of research and innovation. The co-operation with HAW’s CC4E will push forward the development of the ‘Cluster Renewable Energies’ and opens up new fields of research. It will also boost the transfer of technology between commerce and science. The new facility will enable Hamburg to strengthen its position as a leading centre of wind energy research and as a driver of the energy transition.”
Benefits for local wind energy companies
Companies in the Hamburg Metropolitan Region such as NORDEX, Siemens Windpower, Senvion or Suzlon gain direct access to important research and testing facilities thanks to IWES. They will also benefit from the expertise of 600 scientists there from all over north Germany. The combined research skills at CC4E and HAW hold huge potential for collaborations.
Sources and further information: