Verification Testing

Hello, my name is Rob Sauven and I’m Vice President of Blades Technology here at Vestas. After 24 years in this business I remain as passionate about what the wind can do for us as the day I started. The test of time. That’s the most important test of all when assessing business case certainty. And we understand how crucial this is to you. Indeed, to everyone who shares our passion for a wind-powered future. At Vestas, we have a unique ability to validate the 20-year design specifications of our technology. Not only of each critical component, but also the complete systems. And, through this validation process, We ensure that our products will comply with your expectations. How do we do this? By testing in the world’s largest and most advanced testing facilities. Facilities where we have technicians, and engineers relentlessly committed to wind... to finding more effective ways to deliver more reliable and cost-effective wind energy solutions for our customers. Giving you the secure knowledge that once on site it will perform predictably . . . and profitably. Now, you can further explore how we perform verification testing at Vestas.

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Verification

Verification

Verification. What – precisely – does that mean? For us, it means taking every step possible to make sure that the design of the product will meet performance requirements. And, giving the product design the stamp of quality. Yet there’s more to it than that. It’s about examining the degree of compliance with customer expectations of product performance. In satisfying these, we satisfy the demands of the business case. There are three stages to validation. We listen closely to what you are looking to achieve. We define our extreme users and we establish what validation is necessary for each component. This includes defining the most demanding field conditions for each component and its potential failure modes. We employ our ‘bottom up’ validation protocol to evaluate every component that will make up the completed assembly. In the last stage, we thoroughly scrutinise our findings and check for full compliance with the defined product performance and reliability specifications. So, stage by stage by stage, the validation is completed. Meaning we can give a fact-based forecast of life expectancy . . . and provide you with documentation to prove its accuracy.

Vestas Test Center

Vestas Test Center

Life is not a computer simulation . . . and the real world can often spring unwelcome surprises. Vestas is committed to ensuring that what works on paper will actually work for our customers on site. Whether that site happens to be onshore or offshore. And what’s the best way to imagine the worst . . . and make it happen? By replicating real life conditions under “Severe User Scenarios”. By creating the different environments – and climates in which our turbines are designed to operate. Hilltops, extreme temperatures and marine environments And that’s exactly what we do here at our Test Centre . . . using predictive models to subject our designs to the harshest tests that nature can impose. We begin by identifying the types of failures that can occur and the physics behind them – the failure mechanisms and stressors. Then, we design a specialized method of testing that subjects to components to these forces – amplifying them, sometimes until the point of failure. These are known as Highly Accelerated Life Tests, and they are carried out in our specialized rigs. Technicians place sensors to measure the effects on components, including gearbox, generator, yaw system, and pitch system, lubrication system and accumulators. The data from these tests is then extrapolated to predict component lifetime in the field. If we find that components don’t meet the specified requirements, we change the design or improve the production processes to remove the failure When Vestas speaks about reliability we are basing our communications on specifications, and also on hard facts from real world tests. And in the real world, that’s what really counts.

Performance Testing

Performance Testing

We believe the best approach to performance testing is from the bottom up, so that’s what we do – from component level, all the way up to systems, prototypes and complete modules. For each critical component, we test the characteristics of the materials as well as the dimensions and tolerances of the design. We also validate the manufacturing processes that produce the component and ensure they are capable of reproducing the required design margins. Examples of this are process temperature and process time tests. While with systems, the whole testing includes the whole assembly – Gearbox, Yaw system, Pitch system, Lubrication system, Generator, Bed plate, Rear frame, Main bearing housing, and Accumulators. This way, it’s possible to gain the most accurate measure of robustness . . . and reliability. And paradoxically, the success of this approach is based on failure. Why is that? Because we test everything to the failure points – monitoring designs to see how they cope with different types of extremes. This is the ultimate method of testing to ensure that all aspects of performance and safety meet your specifications and ultimately, increase the certainty of your business case.

Component Stress Tests

Component Stress Tests

We all know that the failure of even the smallest component can have a significant impact on generation. So how do we go about reducing the risk? Or to put it another way – increasing the certainty that components will continue to function reliably throughout their specified lifespan? Testing, testing . . . and more testing. Subjecting components to the conditions they will encounter in their operational environment – but long before they enter service on site. Because every minute spent on maintenance after installation is precious. Let’s see how we do this. Our testing bench is used to simulate field conditions at elevated loads levels – applying stress and strain on several dimensions, and using strain gauges to measure the results. By doing so, we can identify and remove failure modes that might cause rapid wear out – improving reliability by eliminating any weak points. Using regression analysis and other modern techniques, we gain a greater understanding of the factors that can lead to component degradation. We can then address this by removing any defects. All of this attention to detail and constant monitoring is made possible by our relentless commitment to wind… By our continuous investment in the world’s largest, blade and drive strain testing facilities research and development facilities. Through our insight into the stresses and strains on components, we are in the strongest possible position to reassure your revenue generation. To back up your business plan.

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Vestas | Wind. It means the world to us. | Verification Testing

Our 2 MW and 3 MW platforms have been upgraded to cover a wider range of wind conditions enabling you to mix turbines across your sites, delivering industry-leading reliability, serviceability and exceptional energy capture. Please visit vestas.com to learn more about the new product releases.