Spanish wind energy giant Gamesa is teaming up with the Technical University of Madrid to develop and operate a high-performance aerodynamic testing wind tunnel.
Gamesa made the announcement on Tuesday, revealing that it had signed a memorandum of understanding with the Technical University of Madrid (UPM) for the joint design, development, and operation of a wind tunnel to benchmark wind turbine blade design.
According to Gamesa’s press release, the facility “is set to become a benchmark in Europe as it will enable the performance of extremely advanced aerodynamic, aeroacoustic, and aeroelastic measurements.”
“This aerodynamic tunnel will be cutting-edge by any measure: there is no other facility in Europe in which all of these tests can be performed in combination, offering applications not only for wind power but also for the railroad and civil engineering industries,” said Carlos Conde, Dean of UPM. “UPM is, without a doubt, the university institution best placed to carry out this initiative due to the numerous groups of researchers that have worked on advanced fluid mechanics and aerodynamics in recent decades.”
Specifically, the intended wind tunnel will allow Gamesa to perform advanced full-rotor (three blades and hub) aerodynamic noise measurements, dynamic tests, and simulations, all of which Gamesa hopes will help make its products more competitive. Antonio de la Torre, Product Development Manager at Gamesa explains: “Until now we had to resort to university labs outside Spain to perform these tests. Once this facility is operative, we will be able to run these tests in Spain, which is where our R&D effort is based, underpinned by a staff of over 500 engineers.”
The new facility will also allow Gamesa to do static tests of turbine blades “by simulating the incidence of wind from any direction and at any type of site.”
Set to measure in at around 70 metres long and 50 metres wide, the new tunnel is set to become operational in late 2016.
Gamesa was recently chosen to supply the wind turbines for Amazon.com’s largest renewable energy project to date. Earlier this month, Gamesa and SunEdison announced the formation of a joint venture to develop up to one gigawatt of wind power capacity. Last month, the company inaugurated a 640-megawatt nacelle factory in Brazil. With strong growth in the first quarter of 2015 and news that it has retained its spot as the #1 wind energy company in India, everything seems to be going well for the Spanish wind energy giant.
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