VIDEO: New wind turbine blade design tested in Ellis Hall

Posted on January 10, 2020

Toronto renewable energy company Biome Renewables recently partnered with Dr. Amir Fam and the Department of Civil Engineering to test a new wind turbine blade in the Structures Lab in Ellis Hall.

  • Biome Renewable is a Toronto-based engineering and design company.

    We looked all over Ontario for a testing lab that would be suitable for testing a blade as large as this and Queen's University Civil Engineering Lab was that lab for us.

    They have this structure behind us which we could use for testing and so we've reached out to Dr. Fam and now we're testing our blade here today.

    The Power Cone Blade that you can see here behind me is one of three. Three of these are mated together to form the Power Cone, which is an aerodynamic hardware enhancement device that actually bolts to the center of the a wind turbine.

    It increases the performance of the turbine and it also decreases the loads that the turbine sees during operation.

    So, we are truly excited about this project. To my knowledge, I'm not aware of any wind turbine technology, particularly wind turbine blades being tested in any civil engineering lab before.

    So, this may very well be a true and unique opportunity we have for the Civil Engineering Department here at Queen's.

    Today we're going to be applying a maximum design load to the blade. This is the maximum load that the turbine blade has been designed to according to IEC standards.

    Effectively it is going to mimic a 55 metre-per-second wind gust, which is about 200 km an hour.

    We're going to do that through an actuator piston which you can see here behind me.

    Our goal here is to do structural testing and that is, as you can see behind me, applying a simulated wind pressure over four points basically to establish the stiffness of that blade and how much deflection that would take place as it deforms.

    It's mounted on the floor and supported at the top in such a way that accurately simulates the mounting system on the actual wind turbine in the field.

    So, testing this blade here in Canada is actually very proud for us because we're a Canadian company.

    Biome is one of the few Canadian wind entities. Most companies are coming from the US and from Europe, so we're proud to fly the flag here and test at Queen's.

    This is going to be a technology that hopefully you'll see around the world.