Vestas has begun operation of what it says is the wind industry's biggest test bench at its global testing center in Aarhus, Denmark. According to the company, the 20 MW bench is capable of testing the full nacelle of the V164-8.0 MW, gauging the performance, robustness and reliability of the turbine over a simulated 25-year lifetime.
The test bench is 42 meters long and 9 meters wide. Including the motors, wind simulator and generators, it weighs nearly 700 tons, and Vestas installed 50-meter-deep concrete foundations to support the weight. The company says the motors powering the test bench produce 20 MW – the equivalent of 26,820 brake horsepower – and the torque exerted on the components of the turbine can be up to 18 meganewton meters.
The test bench will stress the drivetrain, including the gearbox, main shaft and generator of the V164-8.0 MW – in a controlled environment – reproducing the harsh wind conditions in the North Sea.
"Vestas has invested in the industry's most powerful test bench to ensure the [V164-8.0 MW] turbine will perform in challenging conditions for 25 years," says Anders Vedel, Vestas' chief technology officer. "The superior testing expertise we have accumulated over the last decade is a key part of giving confidence to our customers that the machine is of the high quality that they expect from Vestas."