Combining a 15 MW test rig drive unit, and a 15 MW hardware-in-the-loops simulator, the world’s most advanced wind-turbine testing facility at the Clemson University Restoration Institute, is designed to test wind turbine nacelles (generating component enclosures) that are three times larger than any currently being used today.

Read: Testing the World’s Largest Wind Turbines

Forty-three feet in diameter, the 15 MW test rig drive unit weighs 400 tons, with a dynamic off-axis and bending moment load applicator capable of reproducing real-world conditions.

An artistic rendering of the completed 15 MW wind turbine drivetrain.

Curtiss Fox, Duke Energy e-GRID director, Clemson University Restoration Institute, stands in front of the 15 MW test rig.

turbine testing

True inductance is almost impossible to simulate, so by using real air-core conductors researchers are able to replicate realistic fault events on the Duke Energy e-GRID.