Structural Testing Laboratory Video Transcript

Scott Hughes, Senior Engineer, National Wind Technology Center:
The Structural Testing Lab was built in 1996 to be able to structurally validate wind turbine blades and components.

Ryan Beach, Structural Engineer, National Wind Technology Center:
As you can imagine, any field failures are very costly. All the work is being performed at heights, sometimes very expensive equipment has to be brought onsite, so anytime we can minimize field failures, it saves the customer a lot of money, in terms of repair and maintenance, and it allows the machine to run continually.

The testing being performed here at NREL helps to verify that this blade will survive a lifetime of service in the field. The test that we see right now is a fatigue test. So, we are about 800,000 cycles into a million cycle test. The fatigue testing being performed on this blade characterizes its lifetime loading in the field.

So, we try and compact about 20 years worth of lifetime loading into a million cycle test that's performed in the lab in a matter of weeks.

Scott Hughes: Since 1990, NREL has tested over 200 wind turbine blades with over 10,000 strain gauges and many different types of health monitoring and condition monitoring tests.

In the future, NREL will continue to develop test methods that lower the cost and improve reliability of wind turbine blades.

Text on Screen:
Learn more about NREL's structural research facilities at