Dynamometer Research Facilities
The National Wind Technology Center at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory features dynamometers that can perform research validation on wind turbine drivetrains from 1 kW to 5 MW.
Dynamometers validate wind turbine drivetrains by replacing the rotor and blades of a turbine with a powerful motor.
Overall capabilities include the ability to:
- Perform steady-state research validation to determine a drivetrain's "power curve": how its electrical production relates to the mechanical energy input
- Conduct highly accelerated life research validation, intentionally overloading the drivetrain to help determine its useful operating lifetime
- Employ "model-in-the-loop" techniques to emulate rotor, tower, pitch, and yaw systems with computer simulations operating in real time
- Apply secondary forces and moments other than the primary, driving torque or force
- Connect to the controllable grid interface to provide a better understanding of how drivetrains react to grid disturbances.
Ideal for smaller turbines, this dynamometer employs a 300-hp variable-speed induction motor with a variable-frequency drive and AC grid connections of 120 V, 240 V, and 480 V.
A practical size for most of today's land-based wind turbines, the 2.5-MW dynamometer features a 3,351-hp, AC induction motor with a variable-frequency drive, and 480 V, 690 V, and 13,200 V AC grid connections.
Useful for offshore wind turbines and future land-based turbines, the 5-MW dynamometer features an 8,000-hp AC induction motor with a variable-frequency drive and 480 V, 690 V, and 13,200 V AC grid connections.
See the Dynamometer Specifications at the National Wind Technology Center for more details about each dynamometer.