The wind-turbine drivetrain testing facility under construction at the Clemson University Restoration Institute will be capable of testing next-generation drivetrains up to 15 megawatts. (Photo/Provided)
Published June 7, 2012
Clemson University’s wind turbine test facility has no equal in the global wind industry, the project manager said Tuesday in Atlanta.
The wind-turbine drivetrain testing facility under construction at the Clemson University Restoration Institute in North Charleston will be the world’s most advanced, project manager Jim Tuten said.
Clemson students, scientists and staff showcased the facility during the Windpower 2012 Conference this week in Atlanta. Clemson joined Renk Labeco Test Systems, the company designing and manufacturing the facility’s two drivetrain test rigs.
In November 2009, Clemson University was awarded a $45 million grant by the U.S. Department of Energy to develop the testing facility. That was matched by $53 million in public and private funds.
The $98 million facility will be capable of testing next-generation drivetrains up to 15 megawatts. The facility’s 7.5-megawatt test rig is scheduled to begin commissioning this fall, with the 15-megawatt rig to follow early in 2013.
The goal of companies that will use Clemson’s facility will be to improve reliability and efficiency and reduce maintenance costs, Tuten said. The facility will stress-test drivetrains to their breaking point by accelerating environmental and other factors to improve design and functionality.
Clemson said that more than 90% of major wind industry companies were represented on advisory boards that provided input to the facility’s design and function.