Just how hard are the winds blowing? The National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) is trying to find out with their new facility.
The National Wind Technology Center is using a new $16 million dynamometer to test how wind turbines perform. The 5-megawatt dynamometer test facility is the newest addition at the center.
The new facility is an upgrade from a 2.5-megawatt dynamometer at the center.
"As wind turbines have gotten bigger and bigger, we needed a bigger test facility," said center director Fort Felker.
The facility was financed through a U.S. Department of Energy grant. Using a variety of gears and drive shafts, and a 6-megawatt motor, the machine can simulate various wind conditions and drive the turbine at top speeds for long periods — a key manufacturing test.
Source: The Denver Post