Published on January 30, 2014
THE USE OF A LARGE CLIMATE CHAMBER FOR EXTREME TEMPERATURE TESTING & TURBINE COMPONENT VALIDATION Pieter Jan Jordaens, Stefan Milis, Nikolaas Van Riet, Christof Devriendt; Sirris; department Offshore Wind Infrastructure Application Lab (OWI-Lab); www.owi-lab.be Corresponding author: firstname.lastname@example.org Abstract Testing & Test Infrastructure Wind energy is rapidly expanding in remote area’s where turbines need to operate under extreme environmental conditions. Operating temperatures can vary from -50°C tot +58°C depending on their location (Inner Mongolia, Finland, Canada, India, Africa,...). Another trend is building turbines offshore or high in the mountains were maintenance tasks are more difficult and more costly. High reliability for every component is key for these machines to avoid expensive maintenance tasks in these remote locations. Advanced design verification testing (DVT) and reliability testing is paramount in this evolving industry. Large Climatic Test Chamber OWI-Lab Wind turbines consist of different mechanical, hydraulic and electrical components. Obviously different system and integration tests need to be developed and performed for all these components in their specific working conditions: OWI-lab invested in a large climatic test chamber in order to test a broad range of current and future wind turbine components in extreme temperature conditions, mainly for design verification testing (DVT): Wind turbine field testing Nacelle and drivetrain testing Drivetrain component testing Sub component testing (i.e. bearings, individual gears) Blade testing Tower & foundation testing In General Mechanical Climatic environmental factors environmental factors Shocks and impacts from strong blasts of winds and storms, turbulences, and emergency stops Low frequency vibrations from waves in offshore turbines Earthquakes … Temperature Humidity Salt Rain Pressure Ice/snow Solar radiation Sand … In order to reduce the O&M costs two approaches can be defined: 1. Improving component robustness & reliability 2. Reducing costs to perform corrective maintenance This poster will focus on the first approach and has a direct link with the activities of the OWI-Lab test facility which houses a large climate chamber for extreme temperature testing of wind turbine components. Improving Products Through Testing Reliability means: ‘the ability of a system to perform a required function, under given environmental and operating conditions and for a stated period of time’ . Ideally, testing is done throughout the product development cycle. This allows model validation, product specification verification, and confirms robustness and reliability in specific environmental conditions. Requirements Acceptance testing System testing System specs System design Integration testing Component design Component testing Development Facts and figures of this test infrastructure: Maximum test dimensions 10 m x 7m x 8 m (L x W x H) Temperature range for testing: -60°C to +60°C Located nearby a breakbulk quay to handle large and heavy objects (up to 150 ton); capacity test chamber Floor capacity: >30 ton/m² Large cooling and heating power No-load cold start test bed (10kNm break-away torque - XYZ positioning table) High power to feed any electrical components for system testing can be foreseen by mobile generators up almost any required power range (including multi MVA) Remote located wind turbines in harsh environmental conditions: arctic wind turbine and offshore wind turbine Wind turbines and their individual components need to be tested in order to make sure they can withstand operational and extreme environmental conditions. These conditions can be divided in: Mechanical components (gearboxes, yaw & pitch) Electrical components (transformers, switch gears,...) Electro-mechanical equipment (generators) Power electronics (convertors, ...) Hydraulic components (actuators, gearboxes, filters,...) Cooling systems Risø National Laboratory blade test ; FAG bearing test stand ; ZF Wind Power Antwerpen NV gearbox test stand ; 7.5MW drivetrain test stand – Renk test systems Because the time-to-market in wind energy systems is preferably as short as possible, and due to the lower costs associated with laboratory testing in comparison to field testing in remote locations, specialized test stand to perform advanced testing in controlled environments are needed. The advantage of controlling the mechanical and climatic loads in the laboratory is to apply new stress test methodologies like accelerated lifetime testing (HALT) for example. Different companies and knowledge centers are currently investing in dedicated test stands as an alternative for field testing in order to better understand Cold start –up flexible test bench climate chamber the failure modes in wind turbines with the goal to improve their wind turbine designs. The challenge here Transformer cold start test is to cope with the trend towards bigger multi-MW turbines which means large weights and dimensions, On February 2013 a first cold start test run at -30°C has been performed with success on a liquid filled offshore higher torques, power, cooling capacity, etc,… wind turbine transformer built by CG Power Systems. In Extreme Temperature Testing such transformers, the gas cushion influences the liquid level and the internal pressure of the transformer. Internal Climatic environmental testing, in particular temperature pressure and liquid level must stay within a certain range testing is one of the essential tests for wind turbine in order to guarantee optimal performance. In on- and components. Temperature differences, thermal shocks offshore turbines, liquid immersed transformers equipped and extreme temperature values can have their impact with a gas cushion can have temporary pressure peaks. on wind turbine systems. Some examples are: This phenomenon should be controlled in order to prevent unnecessary switching off the transform and harm the Cold starts of gearboxes introduce higher loads turbines availability. (starting torques, starting currents of oil pumps,…). To long start-up times have a negative effect on energy Also, in a worst case scenario, the interaction of the gas yield. cushion and the oil level have a negative effect on the Lubricants can become more or less viscous which elasticity of the tank which can ultimately cause cracks effects the oil flow in bearings and raceways. and leaks when mechanical stress reaches an Metals can become brittle at very low temperatures unacceptable level. For optimal operation (Design Cooling system can experience overheating problems verification) and model validation (Internal R&D topic of during extreme heat. the client) the cold start conditions were tested as part of Differential thermal expansion of (sub)components and the development process in order to mitigate the risks and materials can cause mechanical problems. ensure optimal an efficient operations. Usually on- and offshore turbines are designed to operate in a temperature range of -10°C to +40°C but in some locations low temperatures even reached -50°C during wintertime (Inner Mongolia). A proper cold start procedure, starting up the turbine after idling in cold conditions, has a big influence on the reliability and productivity of these turbines and therefore individual components have to be tested to check their performance under such extreme conditions. Product development cycle OWI-Lab climate chamber test on CG Power transformer COWEC 2013, Berlin, Germany
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THE USE OF A LARGE CLIMATE CHAMBER FOR EXTREME TEMPERATURE TESTING & TURBINE COMPONENT VALIDATION Pieter Jan Jordaens Sirris/OWI-Lab Heverlee
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