In 2019, the test centre BLAEST expanded its wind turbine blade testing facilities at Aalborg harbour with a new test rig for blades of up to 100 meters.
However, the wind energy market continues to grow, and the growth applies to wind turbine blades in particular. Since 2019, the blade length has exceeded 100 meters, causing the BLAEST test center to react. BLAEST has chosen to expand test capacity once again; this time with a new test rig to be used for testing 115-metre-long blades in 2023.
– We can see where the market is going and it’s towards larger wind turbines and thus larger blades. Therefore, we have chosen to exercise due diligence and expand our testing capacity to meet our customers’ needs, says Erik Steen Jensen, Managing Director at BLAEST.
The new test rig weighs over 1,000 tons and must be able to thoroughly test the huge blades, resulting in testing periods of up to one-year, large amounts of testing equipment and thousands of working hours. Tests of this magnitude, therefore, require plenty of space, but lack of space is not something they care about at BLAEST, according to Erik Steen Jensen:
– Testing more than 100 meters long blades inflicts enormous effort on both the test rig and its very powerful foundation with several hundred foundation poles, but it also requires a very large building. Therefore, we are very pleased with our location by the port. There is enough room to expand our facilities according to the needs that such tests require, he says.
The expansion of the test facilities also brings joy to Senior Commercial Manager from Port of Aalborg, Jeppe Faber, who notes that Østhavnen in Aalborg has become a world-leading business area for blade testing, where customers continue to future-proof and develop their businesses:
– At Port of Aalborg, we work hard to create and facilitate environments for companies within the green transition, so we are, of course, very pleased that the development continues at BLAEST, which, in turn, is expanding its testing facilities. Over the years, Aalborg has developed into an international hub for blade testing, which is a very crucial part of wind turbine production. BLAEST’s activities also testify to this, and it helps put Aalborg further at the forefront of an area with great potential, says Jeppe Faber.
Location with room for growth
The new test rig to be put into operation in early 2023 when it is scheduled to test the 115-metre long B115 wind turbine blade to be mounted on a 14MW Siemens Gamesa offshore wind turbine.
Even though the new test rig is currently under development, Erik Steen Jensen will not deny BLAEST further expanding its test capacity in the future:
– If the market continues to develop, as it has in recent years, then another extension may well be envisaged. However, it is not something that worries us. At the port, we have a location with room to grow, and we have good opportunities to transport the huge blades to and from our test centre, he says finally.
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Press service: Maja Thordahl Schou, Head of Branding & PR, Port of Aalborg A/S, tel. +45 22 61 83 08 or firstname.lastname@example.org