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Cheaper and more reliable thanks to research

The OWI Lab deploys its versatile measuring systems and advanced data analysis for measuring and monitoring campaigns at wind farms, while in the climatic test chamber wind turbine components are tested under extreme conditions. The objective is to make wind energy cheaper and more reliable by means of research.

Belgium is one of Europe’s pioneers in the field of offshore wind farms. Research is vital to make offshore power generation as cost-effective as some other energy sources. The OWI Lab deploys its versatile measuring systems and advanced data analysis for measuring and monitoring campaigns at wind farms, while wind turbine components can be tested under extreme conditions in Europe’s largest climatic test chamber.

“Research is vital to make offshore power generation as cost-effective as traditional energy sources.”

Projects in 2015

  • ‘Offshore Wind O&M Excellence’ (OWOME): Operations & Maintenance (O&M) accounts for almost a third of the total lifetime costs of an offshore wind farm. This four-year IWT-funded VIS project aims to support and enable the development and validation of smart and cost-effective O&M solutions. A powerful data warehouse has been set up at VUB to cluster and analyse all the collected data. This will give manufacturers more insight into the impact of environmental factors (weather conditions, Gulf Stream, corrosion, etc.) on component wear in order to identify innovative O&M solutions. A user group is following progress closely.

  • Test campaigns in Europe’s largest climatic test chamber: This test laboratory in the port of Antwerp is used for research, testing and validation projects for various electromechanical systems required to operate in challenging and extreme climatic conditions. As well as functional tests on large wind turbine components (such as gearboxes, transformers, power converters, hydraulic components, etc.), test campaigns were also  carried out on power electronics for the solar power market. Players in road construction, mining, agriculture and defence also made use of the OWI Lab’s state-of-the-art test infrastructure.
     

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