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Wind turbines provide a great source of renewable energy. However, like anything else, its blades undergo lots of wear and tear on an everyday basis. Each revolution produces a load or fatigue cycle which causes some minimal damage to the blades. This minimal damage may eventually lead to fatigue cracks or other similar failures.
Wind turbine blades are generally tested at laboratories to determine its fatigue strength and the characteristics for the blade’s expected life. It verifies the blade laminations are safe and that there is no chance of the laminate separating. It also ensures the blade’s integrity, and that it won’t break under continual stress.
Blade test with a linear hydraulic actuator
There are various blade test systems which test the load the blades endure with the intention to prevent potential damage. One of them has a linear hydraulic actuator testing the blade by providing it with the same amount of load it usually endures.
Here the blade’s base is mounted on a large test stand. The linear hydraulic actuator is however fit at some distance from it. It’s possible to place some loads on the blade in any direction.
This is an easy process. It is done by fixing the hydraulic actuators at the right blade position, and then adjusting the actuators so that it is in the right direction.
These blade test systems, however, use a rather big actuator. It also works with a rather complicated hydraulic system. This system has hoses and pumps which are used to make the actuator rotate the blade.
However, the test stand and hydraulic actuator are big in size, and the stand has huge concrete blocks. They collectively make it difficult to move these testing systems. Besides, they are also expensive and take some time to build and set up.
How the base excitation test system works
The Base excitation test system effectively uses base excitations or the base’s shaking movement to perform a better blade test. It works by simultaneously displacing the blade in multiple directions.
The system it doesn’t need anything specific, like a pump or actuator to work. It works just by using a motor to create an oscillatory motion and displaces the blade in the flap or edgewise direction. This system is less expensive and even faster than other traditional blade testing systems. If you are interested in a blade test system then it’s better to contact the professionals who will help you select the right system for your requirements.