It has been announced by the UK’s Energy Technologies Institute (ETI) that HORIBA has been selected for the Phase 1 engineering design contract for the world’s largest open access offshore wind turbine test facility – Ricardo will be included in this effort as a design partner.
The new drive train test rig will be designed for testing the next generation of higher power wind turbines capable of producing more affordable electricity. The intention is for the test rig to be built at the NaREC Test Facility in Blyth, Northumberland. Co-located with NaREC's existing renewables testing facilities such as blade testing, the offshore wind nacelle drive train test rig will be capable of dynamically testing a wind turbine drive train or nacelle with input powers up to 15MW. In addition to partnering with Ricardo on this project, it will also draw upon the large construction programme management skills of Complete Construction Management Ltd (CCM).
Providing this facility in an onshore location will provide a significantly lower cost alternative to deploying and testing offshore. Complete turbine nacelles will be able to be tested, reducing the technical and commercial risks of mass production and deployment and will also enable turbine manufacturers to accelerate the development of new and more reliable prototypes, increasing the deployment of new turbines. As such it will enable the reliability and performance of new technologies to be assessed early on in the development process and reduce the risk of developing large multi-megawatt wind turbines for offshore use before deployment offshore.
Commenting on the award of this contract by ETI, HORIBA executive vice president and general manager, Rex Tapp, said: “We are pleased to have been awarded this key contract by ETI to design the world’s first open access offshore wind turbine test system. HORIBA Instruments is a leader in the development of testing technology across a range of industrial sectors and on a global basis. We look forward to working with our long-standing partner Ricardo to deliver the test system design for this important new facility.”
Ricardo clean energy projects director Giles Hundleby added: “We are honoured that the HORIBA-Ricardo team has been selected by ETI to collaborate on the design of this important new UK offshore wind energy testing facility. This project is a further example both of Ricardo’s technology leadership in the wind power sector, as well as a demonstration of our very successful relationship with HORIBA.”
A full copy of this joint HORIBA-Ricardo press release can be downloaded from the link at the top right of this page.
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