Drivetrain Facility

The objective of the drivetrain test facility is to investigate the behavior of the total system from the main bearing near the rotor to the output into the electric grid. 

DTU Wind Energy has set-up a 1 MW facility for testing the complete wind turbine drivetrain. The test facility is composed of three units:

  1. The prime mover that is situated in an elevated structure (as a nacelle) and is composed of two ABB 500 kW motors in series along with a gearbox, brake drum and associated hydraulics
  2. The test nacelle rig that is connected to the prime mover through a long shaft and supported on a flexible foundation
  3. With the use of the facility, it is possible to test variable speed wind turbine nacelles focusing on developing the right test cases, guidelines for testing, grid interface and design criteria to be met, amongst others. The setup makes it possible to test different nacelle configurations, determining potential failure modes and enables design of gearboxes and transmission systems with improved reliability.

Pre-plan tests

With the use of the facility, it is also possible to pre-plan tests such as develop and verify procedures at the smaller scale before implementing them at full scale at other larger commercial facilities. 

This allows over time the development of a catalogue of standardized testing methods and procedures, knowledge base and experimental techniques, which can be adopted at other larger facilities, where the cost structure has stronger impact for the customers. As an example, the setting up of specific load cases for the commercial drivetrain testing can be based on conducting similar scaled down load case experiments at the test facility, which allows an error free and appropriate test plan for commercial testing.  

Furthermore, the location of the facility at the premises of DTU allows for pooling of knowledge and skills from a highly specialized group of researchers in wind energy and wind turbine technology.


Anand Natarajan
Senior Researcher
DTU Wind Energy
+45 21 33 16 93