Wind turbine blade testing is a critical factor in maintaining high levels of reliability and evaluating the latest technological developments in airfoils and materials. Adequate testing will allow wind energy to be more competitive. In addition, blade testing is required as part of turbine certification to meet international design standards including IEC, GL, DNV. Meeting international standards allows developers to mitigate the technical and financial risk of deploying mass-produced wind turbines.
Blade Testing At WTTC
The Massachusetts Clean Energy Center’s (MassCEC) Wind Technology Testing Center (WTTC) offers a full suite of certification tests for turbine blades up to 90 meters in length. WTTC also offers the latest wind turbine blade testing and prototype development methodologies to help the wind industry deploy the next generation of land-based and offshore wind turbine technologies.
The WTTC’s principle technical team includes blade engineers from the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) trained in blade testing at the current test facility in Colorado. Expertise and personnel from NREL are playing key roles in commissioning and overseeing the operation of the WTTC. NREL has tested numerous blades ranging in size from 9 to 47 meters over the last 15 years. In addition, WTTC/NREL engineers have previous experience testing blades at leading wind turbine design and manufacturing companies.