Large Wind Turbines and Components

UL’s wind turbine test facility in Texas, one of the largest in the world, works in partnership with West Texas A&M University (WTAMU) to provide large wind turbine manufacturers with a testing location offering excellent wind resources.

The site enables manufacturers to install wind turbines for long- and short-term testing, providing capabilities for research, along with performance measurements and data collection required to gain international certifications.

The comprehensive testing offered at the facility can help lower costs, as problems can be remediated early in the development process, and reduce time-to-market since manufacturers can gain certifications to several standards in one streamlined process.

UL offers field and laboratory testing to verify wind turbine function, safety, structural integrity, power performance and quality, and acoustic noise emission characteristics of large wind turbines and their components.

UL’s mechanical load assessments support the safe, efficient development of new wind turbines with extensive measurements of the mechanical loads acting on the prototype during operation. We offer mechanical load assessments to the IEC 61400-13 standard or to any customer-specific scope.

Power measurements are required for planning grid connections, verifying applicable limits and analyzing electrical behavior of generation units and systems. We offer measurement and evaluation services to determine grid compatibility of wind turbines, solar inverters, combined heat and power plants (CHP) and other generation units and systems. Calculations of grid capacities, power quality and background interference measurements are also taken.

UL experts perform power curve measurements by using the Meteorological tower (Met tower) cup anemometer and ground-based LiDARs to operate with the wind speed definition of rotor equivalent wind speed. UL also offers nacelle-based measurement approaches, taking data from cup anemometers, LiDAR or spinner anemometry. These are useful alternatives in offshore environments and for turbines with large hub heights, as well as yaw misalignment detection.

Gauging acoustic noise emissions is an important factor in planning the layout of a wind farm. UL offers noise measurement and noise emission predictions to the IEC 61400-12 (2nd and 3rd edition), and FGW Richtlinien Teil 1 (FGW Guidelines, Part 1).

Before a plant can be connected to the grid, a system operator normally requires a certificate denoting the measurement of electrical characteristics and verification of the plant’s Low Voltage Ride Through (LVRT) capability. UL offers LVRT testing and measuring services to determine the electrical characteristics and grid compatibility of wind turbines, solar inverters, CHP and other generation systems.

UL tests to the following standards:

  • IEC 61400-12-1 and 2
  • UL 4143 Lifetime Extension of WInd Turbines
  • MEASNET Power Performance Measurement Procedure – Version 5
  • FGW Technische Richtlinien Teil 2, 6 Rev.; FGW Technische Richtlinien Teil 5, 5 Rev.
  • IEA Wind RP 15
  • Ground-based vertically profiling remote sensing for wind resource assessment, DTU E-0019
  • Procedure for wind turbine power performance measurement with a two-beam nacelle LiDAR