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Digital twins will reduce testing time of wind turbines by 20%

Danish research project will explore the opportunities for digitalization of large-scale test benches, which can substantially reduce the time and cost of testing.
For wind turbine manufacturers and their sub-suppliers, testing is essential to ensuring the quality of both the design and manufacturing are of a high standard. Testing the components requires deploying complex and expensive experimental facilities, which are used by multiple OEMs and sub-suppliers.

R&D Test Systems is a world leader in developing structural testing technology and has designed and delivered the world’s largest test bench for wind turbines, the HALT XL, for Lindø Offshore Renewables Center (LORC). Full-scale testing of wind turbines is still possible. However, due to the increasing size of the wind turbines and their sub-components, the testing takes more time, creating an expensive and longer time-to-market for new and more efficient products.

To overcome this challenge, a newly founded research project named “DIGIT-BENCH” (DIGItal Twin for large-scale test BENCHes for the wind industry) aims to develop a framework for the digitalization of large-scale test benches. The project is funded by the Energy Technology Development and Demonstration Program (EUDP), a Danish public support program that grants aid to the development and demonstration of new energy technologies.
Optimized usage of test bench with digital twin
It is of imperative importance for wind OEMs to implement digitalization to support the future development of turbines and components, to achieve faster time to market, and reduce development costs. Therefore, as the market leader within full-scale nacelle and component turn-key test benches, it is natural for R&D Test Systems to help the industry implement digitalization and use the digital twin technology to stay first movers in the test bench contractor market.

The framework of the project is based on the digital twin paradigm meaning that the framework lives upon a digital replica of both the test bench and the device under test (DUT). By creating a digital twin of the test bench, it will be possible to predict processes related to a test campaign and reduce the test bench’s expensive and unused time. The goal is to enable the test bench operator to perform test rehearsal virtually, replace some physical experiments with virtual experiments, and improve operation and maintenance.