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When it premieres, GE Renewable Energy’s game-changing wind turbine Haliade-X will be 260 meters tall, with blades longer than a football field, and will be able to supply 12 MW—enough to power 16,000 homes. But first, a group of engineers needs to try to break it.

Wind turbine validation for the Haliade-X and its blades—that is, pushing it to its limits and essentially trying to break it, is one of the most important parts of the building the biggest wind turbine. It will take place in the English town of Blyth, where the testing team will put the Haliade-X through its paces. First, the team will test the nacelle, where it’s time for the “force actuation system,” which imitates the wind speeds that the turbine will have to endure—from all directions.

To properly replicate the wind speeds and patterns that the Haliade X would experience in an oceanic environment, the team simulates different wind conditions, and most importantly, simulates them over both short and extended periods of time. For example, during testing the engineers may subject the Haliade-X to a certain wind pattern for 24 hours a day over the course of 10 weeks. It is an extreme example of wind turbine blade fatigue testing to be sure, but an offshore wind turbine needs to be ready for anything.

Through the general turbine and turbine blade testing progresses, engineers will be able to, using information from the Haliade-X’s sensors to build a sophisticated (and accurate) “digital twin” of the turbine, helping them better tweak and improve the final design.

How long does this wind turbine validation take? After the first year, the Haliade-X will be ready to field test. For the next four years, it’s further tested and refined—making this one of the hardest, most grueling programs to graduate from in the world. But it’s just another day for the world’s largest offshore wind turbine.

Learn more about the world’s largest wind turbine and how it can add power to your wind fleet by contacting us today.

Read the full story at GE Reports.

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