Success story: Wind turbine rotor and hub rotation

Wind turbine rotor and hub rotation

Using one of Bonfiglioli's sustainable mechatronic solutions, Adwen has achieved a significant cost reduction in the testing of its 8MW AD 8-180 wind turbine, simplifying its operation. The industry's highest annual energy production offshore wind turbine.

Adwen is a leading company in the offshore wind industry, with more than 600 MW installed offshore and close to 2 GW in pipelines. The company was founded in 2015 with the purpose to develop innovative solutions and total reliability aimed at lowering the Levelised Cost of Energy (LCoE) of offshore wind energy.

The professionals of the company have more than 20 years of experience in wind energy regarding design, manufacture, installation and operation of wind turbines both onshore and offshore. In 2009 it installed Germany's first offshore wind farm, alpha ventus, and in the summer of 2016 began the installation of one of the most powerful wind turbines ever built, the AD 8-180. The AD 8-180 has a 180-meter diameter rotor and the highest annual energy production (AEP) in the industry. The AD 8-180 wind turbine has the highest tower-mounted gear ratio in the industry, increasing its torque capacity by 70% with only a 20% increase in weight, compared to the gearboxes used in previous 6MW-plus turbines.



Without a doubt one of the most critical and important tests for Adwen in a turbine of this size is the rotor and hub rotation (point of the turbine where the blades will be installed) to verify that the structure and mechanical coupling, in addition to the lubrication system, are perfectly installed to ensure its operation.

To perform this critical test, the huge 8MW multipole synchronous generator must be powered to simulate the future generation mode and thus cause the rotor and hub to rotate at controlled speeds. The test has to be performed at the onshore facilities, before the turbine is installed on the seabed, with the highest possible reliability.

Sustainable Mechatronic Solution by Bonfiglioli

The proposed Bonfiglioli solution is a rotating tool that allows the rotation of the turbine rotor and hub through a low voltage frequency inverter. The container, specially adapted to the needs of the AD 8-180 turbine and suitable for working in harbours and ships, is powered at low voltage and provides the output power supply voltage suitable for the turbine.

This solution is totally versatile and stable, it also provides a cost reduction in the testing phase and simplifies the operation, which is a highly appreciated feature. The equipment that allows the smooth operation of this solution is Bonfiglioli's 315kW ACTIVE CUBE 8 frequency inverter which, thanks to its robust and efficient standard control firmware, allows controlling the 8MW motor through a medium voltage transformer without the need for a feedback signal.

Final assessment

Adwen professionals involved in the project expressed their satisfaction with the Bonfiglioli solution stating the high level of professionalism and positive attitude demonstrated at all project milestones, as well as the quality and robustness of the equipment supplied. Particularly noteworthy is the involvement of the Bonfiglioli team over the last few weeks, during the assembly, delivery and commissioning phases of the mobile inverter/rotating unit of the impressive AD 8-180 turbine.

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