Robotics & Autonomous Systems

Find out more about our robotics and autonomous systems testing and validation facilities.

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Electrical Infrastructure Research Hub

The Catapult has appointed the University of Strathclyde and the University of Manchester to form the Electrical Infrastructure Research Hub.

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Automation & Engineering Solutions

Find out more about our work in robotics, autonomous systems and artificial intelligence.

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Stay Current

Dig deeper into the biggest issues facing offshore wind, wave and tidal energy with our series of Analysis & Insight papers.

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Live Innovation Opportunities

There are a number of programmes laying out the key technology innovation challenges faced by the offshore renewables industry that, when solved, will help drive down the cost of offshore renewable energy, with positive effects for the industry and UK economy. Visit our Live Innovation Opportunities page to find out if your technology has the answer.

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Our service

As blades scale up in length, presenting greater challenges in both weight and power curve efficiency, ORE Catapult continues to develop solutions in both representative blade testing and performance optimisation.

Our blade specialists, alongside cutting-edge test and research facilities, enable clients to not only certify blades to industry standards, but also understand and enhance their blade design, materials, manufacture and overall performance.

 

Rotor blade testing services

  • Determination of natural frequencies
  • Modal analysis
  • Static test
  • Fatigue test
  • Post-fatigue test
  • Collapse test

 

This is the world's leading blade test facility. There is nowhere else in the world we'd even consider testing our blade.

Theo Botha
Co-founder, Blade Dynamics

Rotor blade test facilities

100m blade test facility

A world-leading facility, capable of testing offshore wind rotor blades designed for +10MW turbine devices

 

50m R&D blade test facility

A facility for R&D blade test programmes and upscaling new and innovative blade technologies up to 50m in length.

 

Blade rain erosion test rig and laboratory

State-of-the-art facility for simulating and analysing erosion of wind turbine blades during operation.

 

7MW demonstration turbine

Live, operating blades enabling real-time blade analysis and feedback to support research, testing and innovative technology development.

 

Value-add services

Highly representative blade testing

Using highly advanced fatigue analysis software, reducing safety factors by two compared to basic fatigue analysis methods is used to design bi-axial fatigue tests that are substantially more representative of real-life operation than single-axis testing.

  • Reduce test duration by 5O%
  • Increased speed to market
  • Decrease material factors

 

Blade model validation

Monitor and characterise blade deformation extremely accurately as the blade is loaded in a static test. As passive load alleviation technologies are adopted for longer blades, it is critical to validate nonlinear beam models used to represent the blade.

  • Ensure blade models are representative
  • Determine most beneficial blade reinforcements

 

Leading edge rain erosion

ORE Catapult’s R&D AS rain erosion test rig tests the performance of wind turbine blade leading edge protection systems for blade erosion resistance. The rain erosion test rig is available as part of a suite of blade erosion research and evaluation capability, including disdrometer rain size data and a composite laboratory.

  • Measure and analyse performance
  • Independent service
  • Highly secure data servers

 

Live blade demonstration

Operating a 7MW offshore demonstration turbine with 83.5m blades, ORE Catapult can demonstrate, analyse and understand live blade performance, as well as apply client technology and innovation.

 

Materials analysis

With materials specialists and a materials analysis laboratory on site, ORE Catapult offers turbine materials consultancy, including development and support of novel materials test programmes for Blades, Electrical cables and Coatings. A range of coating, polymer and electrical testing and analysis can be performed.

  • Specialist Materials Knowledge
  • Detailed materials testing analysis
  • Novel materials.

 

IECRE Accrediation

ORE Catapult IECRE Blade Testing Accreditation

In February 2019, the Catapult was awarded a certificate of acceptance to participate in the “IECRE-IEC System for Certification to Standards relating to Equipment for use in Renewable Energy Applications”. The certificate relates to full-scale structural testing of rotor blades: IEC 61400-23.

 


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