Need for the project

Based on EU Directive “2009/28/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 23 April 2009 on the promotion of the use of energy from renewable sources” Article 3, all European countries have to set overall national targets for the use of renewable energy sources. One of the main pillars in the new energy mix in most countries is onshore and offshore wind energy. In particular offshore wind turbine generators (WTGs) are able to provide a very predictable and steady electricity flow which might eventually be used as part of the base load in the electricity grid. To fulfil this important role in energy production, highly reliable power production is extremely important.

The growing market in the field of wind energy has already led to the construction of several nacelle test benches to support the development of WTGs. These nacelle test benches all work in the MW power range where torques occur in the MN·m range. However, it is not currently possible to trace torque measurements in that range to torque standards. The largest torque standard at PTB in Germany covers a maximum torque of 1.1 MN·m.

The traceability of torque measurements is important in order to be able to reliably verify the quality of the measurements and thus the quality of the test object, in this case, mostly WTGs. Nacelle tests are needed in order to be able to predict the performance of a WTG during its lifetime. Moreover, a growth in the capacity of WTGs from the current 6 MW to 20 MW is possible by 2050. Extensive testing of prototype WTGs will ensure successful development with high reliability. To address the needs for traceability in large nacelle test benches, this project focuses on the development of transfer standards for torque measurement using nacelle test benches for WTG in the MN·m range which can also withstand the high non-torque loading present in such facilities.