Testing 25 years’ service life in a few months
LORC Nacelle Testing will be able to demonstrate 25 years of service life by reproducing load scenarios which turbines will experience during their lifetime – and all this in a matter of months.
LORC is currently establishing a second test dock for full scale testing of nacelles with a power output in the 10 MW range. It will perform highly accelerated lifetime testing, HALT, exposing the nacelle under test to full-scale tilt and yaw moments enabling customers to demonstrate 25 years of service life of their turbine.
A wind turbine experiences forces and moments from each blade, which are transferred into the wind turbine internals through the main shaft. By reproducing loads the mechanical components inside the nacelle is exposed to stress levels that can be measured accurately by various pieces of measurement equipment, e.g. strain gauges that measure how much a given surface of a given component is either stretched or compressed during testing. Knowing the material properties and knowing the forces and moments applied, it is possible to analyze the stress levels and thereby determine life-time accurately.
Furthermore, since internal components of the nacelle are connected directly or indirectly it will be possible to determine the chain-reaction of the interaction of multiple components when influenced by loads. This is done by measuring and analyzing the paths of loading.
The HALT tester is expected mid 2017.