The Brits apparently think 10 MW is not a limit to turbine outputs because U.K. engineers are planning a new drive-train facility to test the next generation of higher power wind turbines, up to 15 MW in offshore applications, according the country’s Energy Technologies Institute (ETI). The test rig will be built at the NaREC Test Facility in Blyth, Northumberland, near its existing facilities for testing blades. Locating the facility onshore provides a significantly lower-cost alternative to deploying and testing offshore. Tests to complete turbine nacelles will reduce the technical and commercial risks of mass production and deployment and will also let turbine manufacturers accelerate development of new and more reliable prototypes, and increasing deployment of new turbines. A goal is to improve the reliability and performance of new technologies by assessing them early in development phases and reducing the risk in developing large multi-megawatt wind turbines for offshore use before deployment.
ETI says it has tapped Horiba Instruments for Phase 1 engineering design contract for the open access offshore wind turbine test facility. Engineering firm Ricardo will be a design partner.
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