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MDA Technologies 3/2015

MDA Technologies 3/2015

Record-breaking: 11 MNm

Record-breaking: 11 MNm misalignment coupling for offshore testing facility Sandra Appel Centa delivered an 11 MNm misalignment coupling for the LORC Offshore Nacelle Testing facility. The coupling, for the first time, allows double-cardanic and homokinetic transmission of very high torques with no reaction forces. At the same time, its functional principle allows for misalignments between the driving and the driven side function that no other coupling system on the market is capable of offering. Author: Sandra Appel is a editor working for Ariadne Medien Agentur in Karlsruhe, Germany The former shipyard of the container shipping company Maersk, near the village of Munkebo on the Danish island of Funen, is the site of the offshore test centre LORC (Lindoe Offshore Renewables Center) with its gigantic 10 MW testing facility has just been inaugurated. The test facility enables indoor testing of entire wind turbine nacelles including the rotor hub. Tests under real-world conditions The LORC nacelle testing facility is comprised of two test docks: One test dock is designed for performing mechanical tests and HALT (highly accelerated lifetime testing) applying excessive wind loads to the main shaft of the nacelle. The HALT dock is still in the design phase. The other test dock provides testing of the nacelle’s 46 MDA Technologies 3/2015

SUCCESS STORY 01 The misalignment coupling was delivered in individual components and assembled on site 02 The torsionally stiff homokinetic drive shaft Centalink for torques from 3.3 to 150 kNm function and performance while interacting with the grid and other nacelles of a wind farm. This function tester is now in the commissioning phase as LORC testing facility celebrated its official opening on 11 th September 2014. “We believe that this Nacelle Testing facility will take the offshore wind industry one step further”, former LORC CEO Ove Poulsen states confidently and adds, “We test the turbine under extreme conditions in an indoor test facility, which means that we will not have ‘to wait for wind to blow’. In other words, the function tester offers tests of the turbine’s performance and function before erecting it on offshore sites where service is difficult and costly.” Tests are performed on the complete nacelles of WTGs including the hub, a unique test process ensuring real-world test conditions. The pitch system remains active during testing also the hydraulic system and the internal signals of the pitch system. The advantage is that the complete software and hardware of the nacelle is tested under extreme situations as they may occur due to wind or power grid conditions. In addition, the test facility was designed to offer two test modes: either a simulation of real grid conditions with variable frequency from 45-65Hz or a connection to the real 33kV medium voltage grid with a fixed operating frequency of 50Hz. A test computer calculates the applied torque based on the simulated wind profile. “When building a test system like the LORC Function Tester, the challenges are many and of a complex nature. But, we have had some very good partners among our founding companies and we have chosen good suppliers as well”, says former LORC CEO Ove Poulsen while describing the demanding challenges of this project. Customer-tailored solution Even CENTA, with 40 years of experience and an ‘old hand’ at solving complex transmission tasks, faced a good deal of challenges on many levels. The German drive and transmission specialist had been assigned the task of developing a suitable coupling and overload unit for the test dock. The primary goal was to develop a homokinetic misalignment coupling for a transmission torque of 8.6 MNm. 11 MNm in combination with an overload unit for a release torque of 12.5 MNm with a release tolerance of ±10 %. The highly dynamic MDA Technologies 3/2015 47

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