Catapults
TESTING & VALIDATION

Turbine Blade Test Facilities

As a market-leading, IECRE-accredited wind turbine blade testing facility, we work tirelessly towards increasing the reliability and efficiency of the longest blades in the world.

Our service:

As blades scale-up in length, presenting greater challenges in both weight and power curve efficiency, we continue 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

By using ORE Catapult’s facilities and expertise, we will be in a better position to adapt our technology in a shortened time, reduce unplanned maintenance, increase availability and power output, while introducing new features to meet customers’ demands

John Lavelle

President & CEO of GE Renewable Energy’s offshore wind business 

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 & 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 50%
  • Increase 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.

Material 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.

 

Accreditation

IECRE 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.

 

UKAS Accreditation: ISO/IEC 17025:2017

Contact Our Team

Steve Robertson

Head of Business Development

Email Steve Robertson

+44 (0) 7872 836180

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