The OWI Lab publishes a white paper on the importance of climate chamber testing

The white paper focuses on problems that wind turbines can face in cold climates. This document is partly based on knowledge obtained by the laboratory from tests in its climate chamber in the Port of Antwerp since the chamber was opened in 2012.

The OWI Lab white paper goes deeper into the advantages offered by climatic testing in a climate chamber in the product development cycle of wind turbines and their components. The document provides an overview of some of the machinery tested in the Lab and the problems that need to be studied during the design phase of wind turbines that are intended to operate in a cold climate.

Since the opening of the Large Climate Chamber - measuring 10 m x 8 m x 7 m - the OWI Lab experts have been performing tests under extreme conditions (in de range -60°C - +60°C) for companies active in the wind energy sector. The importance of this is unmistakable: given the risk component failure due to extreme temperatures, it is necessary to take this into account early in the development of the electrical and mechanical components. This can contribute to lower long-term maintenance costs and improved performance.

The number of turbines located in remote and/or hard to reach areas, such as offshore sites, polar regions, mountains or deserts, continues to grow. But even in places with more temperate climates, temperatures can unexpectedly present a challenge to the turbines and their operation. It is therefore essential that the machinery remains operational even under extreme conditions and can survive in such circumstances. In addition, outages have to be avoided as much as possible, in particular because the energy yield in winter is higher due to the greater wind speeds and air density.

For these and many other reasons, it is essential to test components and tools as thoroughly and as far as possible under similar conditions - and this is possible in the OWI Lab’s climate chamber.

You can read or download the white paper here.