The Moog testing system, set up at a cost of US$2 million, is a key part of the new Suzlon testing facility located in Vadodara, Gujarat, India. It can perform both dynamic and static testing on wind turbine blades up to 65 m (213 ft) in length.

“Being able to fully test new blades in our facility is a major step forward for the Asian wind turbine market," says Dr Wim Barendswaard of the Blade Test Center Gujarat. "It not only highlights Suzlon’s overall thrust to maintain market leadership but also provides our non-Suzlon customers with the best-in-class wind energy testing solutions. The new Moog test system gives us a multitude of benefits ranging from cost efficient operation to reduced development time of new blades, thus contributing to worldwide growth in wind energy capacity.’’ 

Moog provides high-performance testing systems to the wind, automotive and aerospace markets and recently strengthened its product portfolio in the alternative energy sector.

“Our aim is to bring Moog’s motion control and testing experience to bear on the challenges facing today’s wind turbine makers and buyers,” says Steve Huckvale, President of Moog’s Industrial Systems Group. “Our ability and commitment to supporting customers locally with high-performance motion control and testing solutions is core to our business mission and we are really pleased with the successful collaboration with Suzlon in India.”

The Blade Test Centre Gujarat

The BTCG is a centre for conducting full scale testing of wind turbines blades. Global investors, developers, manufacturers and insurance companies require full scale testing according to the Standards for Wind Turbine Rotor Blades and it is mandatory to obtain a Type Certification according to IEC 61400-23.

The BTCG is the first of its kind in Asia and is located at about 22 km (approximately 13 miles) from Vadodara, Gujarat, India. The test centre is part of the Suzlon Group, one of the world's leading wind turbine makers.

Static testing of rotor blades
This involves securing the end of a blade to a static test rig and using winches facing each other on either side of the rig to apply positive and negative loads. In a static test, blades are tested for their design loads, including factors such as safety factors, blade manufacturing variations etc.

Fatigue testing of rotor blades
This involves mounting the end of a blade to a dynamic test rig. Hydraulic actuators are mounted on an actuator rig and connected to the blade to apply vertical and horizontal cyclical movement simultaneously. Dynamic testing determines the fatigue characteristics. It is an endurance test whereby the different forces acting on blades as they rotate on a wind turbine can be represented by specific load cycles.