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Windturbine Blade Bearings Test Bench


Windbox, an association between eight Basque companies and the Basque Government, is the promoter of the Advanced Test & Validation Centre for Windpower to be set in the Basque Country. With the aim of developing and enhance Basque companies competitiveness in the wind sector, the facility is equipped with five first-class test benches for the testing and validation of offshore wind systems for wind turbines up to 8MW.

The entire technologicacl complex, composed of four test benches -each aimed to testing a different wind power component-, aims to become a benchmark facility in Europe where manufacturers of wind turbines for the onshore and off-shore markets can carry out tests, both at the subsystem and global system level, of its technological advances, as well as the verification of its suitability for large-scale manufacturing.

In this context, IDOM was in charge of carrying out the turnkey Project of the Test Bench for the Hub and Blade Bearing system of windturbines. The test bench, conceived for the simultaneous testing of 3 blade bearings at almost real operation conditions, can reach a maximum moment capacity at the interface joining the bearing and hub of 35 MNm for fatigue tests, for which the three blades spin simultaneously, and of 55 MNm for extreme tests, in which blades remain static.

The innovative load application system designed by IDOM is based on the concept of a compact two-degree-of-freedom mechanisms, allowing the application of varying loads, continuously at 360º in any direction in the plane, not limited to discrete directions.

By integrating the mechanism into two positions on the third arm, a 4-degree-of-freedom actuator, easily expandable to 6, is achieved by implementing additional axial load and torque application systems.

In addition to the design, manufacturing, assembly, commissioning and validation of the Hub and Blade Bearing Test Bench, IDOM was also responsible for the design and construction supervision of the civil works required on the plot of land, including test bench foundations and the integration of the mechanical and electrical installations required for the test bench operation.

The Hub and Blade Bearing Test Bench, located inside the Erisono Industrial Estate in Eibar (Basque Country, Spain), is successfully in operation since August 2018.

Test Systems

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Construction & Start up

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