Wind turbine test facility

Clemson University is to receive up to $45m (£27m) under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act to build a wind energy test facility that will enhance the performance, durability and reliability of wind turbines.

The Large Wind Turbine Drivetrain Testing facility will enable engineers to develop and test large-scale wind turbine drivetrain systems. Wind turbine sizes have increased with each new generation of turbines and have outgrown the capacity of existing US drivetrain testing facilities.

The new facility, which will will operate as a non-profit organisation, will be located at the Charleston Naval Complex, a former navy base in North Charleston, South Carolina and will be a part of the Clemson University Restoration Institute campus.

The Large Wind Turbine Drivetrain Testing facility will feature power analysis equipment capable of performing highly accelerated life testing of land-based and offshore wind turbine drive systems rated at 5-15MW.

Dynamometer tests of drivetrains are required to demonstrate compliance with wind turbine design standards, reduce wind turbine costs, secure product financing, and reduce the technical and financial risk of deploying mass-produced wind turbines.