• IEA Wind Task 35
    IEA Wind Task 35

IEA Wind Task 35

Full Size Ground Testing of Wind Turbines and their Components


The objective of this proposed task is to develop guidelines and recommended practices for test facilities that simulate in-field loading of wind turbines and wind turbine components in a controlled environment to verify design assumptions and demonstrate system or component function, safety and durability.

The IEA Wind framework provides the opportunity to get the key stakeholders in the wind industry (e.g., OEMs, component manufacturers, research entities and certification agencies) at one table to discuss the requirements for the development and the use of system test rigs for wind turbines and their components. Since such testing always involves some simplifications of reality, the required interfaces and subsystems must be determined. In order to be able to determine similar results compared to the investigation of wind turbines in the field, uniform test procedures and measuring methods as well as approximate values for qualitative evaluation must be defined. This is necessary to identify the differences of the load application on different test rigs as well as the required capabilities of load application for test equipment. The integration of grid and wind loads via hardware in the loop (HIL) models are essential in order to examine the wind turbine controller and thus the behavior of the entire turbine under realistic operating conditions on the system test rig.

With the technical skills and the different experiences of the participants it will be possible to recommend improvements to the test procedures for the overall wind turbine rotor and nacelle systems as well as for individual components. The exchange of ideas from different perspectives will advance the use of test facilities for improving wind turbine reliability.

The resulting work will provide recommended practices on basis test procedures for wind turbines and their components, with focus areas including:

  • Detection of the structural component loads
    • Definition of reference load collectives for test rig investigations or rather HIL model requirements for wind- & grid load calculation
    • Clarify the dynamic interaction between the different components (system and subsystems) of a wind turbine and describe the influences
  • Function test procedures
    • replacement/extension of conventional in field test procedures with test rig investigations (comparison between IEC field tests and ground tests)
  • Durability test procedures
    • Increase the quality of prediction for the prognosticated durability of components in the overall wind turbine system through the development and refinement of new test procedures

The expected results can be used for the advancement of the present certification processes and to improve extant test procedures leading to improved reliability and potential reductions in test and development costs.