As wind turbines continue to contribute an increasing portion of the electricity supply it is critical that design and testing standards keep pace with the development of the technology. These standards need to reflect the requirement to keep development costs low while improving reliability and reducing down time of wind turbines to ensure that wind energy remains competitive in the global electricity marketplace. Although full scale prototype turbine testing is a technique that is often employed in the development of new turbine products, it is expensive, limited to site-specific load cases, and does not lend itself to accelerated testing that can encompass the loads seen over the nominal life time of the machine. Ground based test-rigs provide the opportunity to evaluate turbine components under repeatable accelerated life conditions and constitute an important tool in ensuring the reliability during the development and certification of new wind turbines.
This proposed IEA Wind task seeks to evaluate how ground based component testing of drivetrains and turbine blades can be improved to best evaluate the in-field performance and possible failure modes under simplified, but still representative, accelerated life test conditions. Through this investigation, recommendations will be made on the best way to incorporate new and emerging test methods and test load calculations, and how to standardize these across multiple laboratories with various capabilities.