BLB NRW Begins Construction on Center for Wind Power Drives on RWTH Aachen Campus

20/06/2013

Last week, the NRW Construction and Real Estate Agency, BLB NRW for short, has started construction on the new Center for  Wind Power Drives (CWD) on the Melaten site of the RWTH Aachen Campus research park. The CWD, which receives funding from the Federal government and the state of NRW, will be part of the “Heavy Duty & Off-Highway Powertrain” research cluster. Apart from facilities for international collaboration, the new center, scheduled to be inaugurated in September 2014, will provide space for a 4-megawatt system test rig, which will be used to apply complex, real-world loads to full-scale onshore wind turbine drive trains and thus to gain insight into their reliability and durability.

  At the groundbreaking ceremony: RWTH Rector Prof. Ernst Schmachtenberg; Ute Willems, Deputy Head of BLB Aachen; Prof. Georg Jacobs, Director of the Heavy Duty Powertrains cluster; Prof. Günther Schuh, Managing Director of RWTH Aachen Campus GmbH Copyright: Martin Lux From left: RWTH Rector Prof. Ernst Schmachtenberg; Ute Willems, Deputy Head of BLB Aachen; Prof. Georg Jacobs, Director of the Heavy Duty Powertrain research cluster; Prof. Günther Schuh, Managing Director of RWTH Aachen Campus GmbH

The test rig system, developed at RWTH Aachen in collaboration with partners from industry as part of a Hightech.NRW project, makes it possible to test wind turbines under real world conditions in the lab.

The new functions of the test rig have the potential to accelerate and improve development processes of future wind energy facilities,” explained Professor Georg Jacobs, the Director of the Heavy Duty Powertrain cluster. “More than 50 experts from seven departments in the Faculties of Mechanical and Electrical Engineering will soon have the opportunity to use the new test facilities of the CDW.”

Funding from the Federal and State Governments

The Joint Science Conference of the federal and state governments, GWK for short, approved the RWTH proposal for a new Center for Wind Power Drives in 2011. The German Council of Science and Humanities recognized the scientific and industrial-political relevance of the proposal’s goal to enhance the reliability, durability, and efficiency of wind energy facilities and provided funding of about 25 million euros for the new faciltities, including the system test rig.