ABB solution helps test the limits of wind power

2011-05-25 - An ABB multidrive system is enabling one of the world’s leading wind turbine research centers to conduct highly accelerated life tests on wind turbine components simulating the punishing conditions they are subjected to during their long 25-year operating life.

By ABB Communications

The solution is installed at the wind turbine test laboratory of the National Renewable Energy Center (CENER) in northern Spain, one of the world’s leading research centers for renewable energy.

One of CENER’s six priority research areas is wind power, for which it claims to have the most modern laboratories and facilities in Europe, including a new and uniquely equipped wind turbine test laboratory.

The 30,000 square meter wind turbine laboratory comprises five test centers in which turbine blades, powertrains and composite materials are tested on behalf of manufacturers, wind farm developers, finance institutions, and other industry players.

One of the five test centers at the laboratory is the powertrain test laboratory, which contains a series of test benches for testing the main turbine components, including the powertrain (shaft, gearbox, brakes and brake pads), generators, converters and nacelle.

One ACS 6000 multidrive controls the motors of three test benches. It enables 50 Hz and 60 Hz tests to be conducted using the same equipment, and several tests to be run simultaneously.
There, the components are subjected to highly accelerated life tests that run 24 hours a day for months at a time in order to simulate the mechanical, electrical and thermal stress that the components will face during a 25-year life cycle.

The technology that powers and controls these test benches and enables them to perform the demanding highly accelerated life tests is an ABB multidrive system, comprising transformers, induction motors, an ACS 6000 variable speed drive, and an AC 800PEC high performance controller that simulates the wind conditions.

The ACS 6000 multidrive controls the motors that power the test benches. It provides load and stress to simulate the long operating life of the turbine components, and it acts as a network simulator that generates the required frequency and absorbs the electrical energy back into the multidrive.

The ACS 6000 is a modular medium voltage drive designed for single motor or multi-motor applications in demanding applications like rolling mills, marine propulsion systems, mine hoists and high-power test benches.

Launched in 1999, the ACS 6000 is one of the world’s most successful multidrives for medium voltage applications. Its multidrive capability, modular design and powerful ABB Direct Torque Control (DTC) motor control platform – which provides the highest torque and speed performance ever achieved in medium voltage drives - are among the key reasons for its success.

Learn more about the ABB drives solution for CENER

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    ABB ACS 6000 multidrives control the motors that power test benches simulating the long operating life of wind turbine components.

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