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Offshore Wind Testing Facility Opens in South Carolina

Energy Manage Offshore wind farmClemson University in Charleston, SC, this week dedicated the Wind Turbine Drivetrain Testing Facility and Electrical Grid Simulator.

Dubbed the “SCE&G Energy Innovation Center,” the facility houses the new wind-turbine drivetrain testing facility capable of full-scale highly accelerated mechanical and electrical testing of advanced drivetrain systems for wind turbines. A drivetrain takes energy generated by a turbine’s blades and increases the rotational speed to drive the electrical generator, similar to the transmission in a car.

The center also houses a 15 MW hardware-in-the-loop grid simulator – the Duke Energy eGRID.

In November 2009, the US Department of Energy awarded Clemson University a $45 million grant toward development of the 82,000-sq-foot-facility. Along with additional public and private funds, this $110 million facility is now complete and will enable offshore wind turbine manufacturers to test prototype and next-generation turbines.

Just this week, the DOE’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory dedicated its new Dynamometer Test Facility, which offers industry engineers the opportunity to conduct a wide range of tests on the mechanical and electrical power producing systems of a wind turbine.

Photo: Offshore Wind Farm via Shutterstock

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