Adwen’s AD 8-180 prototype: centerpiece of IWES‘ new testfield for offshore wind turbines in Bremerhaven

The first prototype of Adwen’s AD 8-180 offshore turbine won’t be getting its feet wet at its new home on the quay, following the industry’s standard practices. The wind turbine at the former airfield in Bremerhaven is just a stone’s throw away from the Fraunhofer nacelle test rig –a real stroke of luck for the Fraunhofer scientists, as Adwen’s 8 MW turbine can thus be connected up to the existing IWES infrastructure without any major complications. In addition, onshore locations offer easier access to the wind turbine and at the same time wind conditions very similar to those found offshore.

“Research and development are key for further reducing the costs involved in expanding offshore wind energy. The Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy is therefore providing funding worth €18.5 million for the testing ground for offshore installations in Bremerhaven. The aim is to test the operation of the installations under real-life conditions and gather important data that can be used to set up the installations on an industrial scale. We are thus making a contribution to strengthening the role of offshore wind energy as an important pillar of the energy transition”, says Uwe Beckmeyer, Parliamentary State Secretary at the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy, by handing over the official grant notification.

The results of the test benches can be compared systematically with the measurements taken in the field and the test methods optimized accordingly. In particular, this makes it possible to develop and validate new methods for the performance of fault ride through (FRT) tests via coupling of the 44 MVA medium-voltage grid emulator already integrated in the nacelle test rig as well as to conduct high-resolution 3D wind field measurements for optimization of future offshore wind farm layouts.

“We are very pleased to collaborate with the Fraunhofer IWES in our field tests of our prototype of the AD 8-180. Already, the Fraunhofer IWES DyNaLab has allowed us to exhaustively validate our technology, resulting in great confidence about the optimal performance and reliability of the turbine. In this way we can develop cutting edge technology with minimum risk. That is crucial to continue reducing the cost of offshore wind energy”, explained Luis Álvarez, General Manager of Adwen.

“The test field with the offshore wind turbine is the highly valuable completion of our unique testing infrastructure. It empowers us to find solutions for fundamental aspects concerning reliability and grid integration and contributes essentially to the future improvement of very large turbines”, states Prof.-Ing. Andreas Reuter, Managing Director of Fraunhofer IWES.

Currently, certification tests in the field require the operation of the wind turbine at the whole spectrum of wind conditions. The conditions can, however, be reproduced exactly in the lab, making it possible to conduct certification measurements with a very high degree of accuracy and reducing the time needed for the field test campaign. The development risks for new turbine generations are minimized and ultimately the energy production costs for wind energy reduced by means of optimized and absolutely reliable design.

Similar to that of the offshore research wind farm alpha ventus, the wind turbine will also be available to other research partners as a research platform.