GE builds turbine test bench for LORC

GE has inked a turnkey deal with Denmark’s Lindoe Offshore Renewables Centre (LORC) to supply a test bench for trials of wind turbine transmissions with an output of up to 10MW.

The LORC “function tester”, being built by GE Power Conversion on the island of Funen, will bolt together a drivetrain, medium-voltage switchgear, transformers, inverter system direct-drive permanent magnet motor, human-machine interface and foundation, as well as grid simulation and control systems.

“GE is building an outstanding test bench that will lead the wind industry into the future of a safer supply of renewable power,” says Franz Hubl, global business leader for test systems at GE Power Conversion. “As a world leader in this field, we have significant experience to contribute.”

The new rig, slated for first testing programmes in 2014, will check functionality and performance of nacelles using a specially designed adapter that makes it possible for the turbine hub and all field operational software and hardware — including pitch control — to be incorporated in the test.

This is meant to open up a wide range of opportunities to test turbine controllers inside the nacelle, using “highly realistic” conditions at 33kV.

“GE [is providing] us with a technical solution that best fits the requirements for this project,” says LORC chief executive Over Poulsen. “Users will be able to carry out a full range of tests on their equipment without having to adapt their turbine software or hardware. Because the test bench can be connected to a ‘virtual’ wind farm (created by separate system), it will be able to operate as HIL — Hardware in the Loop.”

The test bench has a modular design engineered for higher-specification future needs. Its simulator power can be increased for extended fault ride-through tests.