Blyth puts world’s largest blades to the test

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GE Renewable Energy and Offshore Renewable Energy (ORE) Catapult have agreed a five year research and development deal to work together developing GE Renewable Energy’s next generation Haliade-X 12 MW wind turbine blades.

The blades will be developed at ORE Catapult’s test centre at Blyth, Northumberland. Key activities will include investigating cooling technologies, converters, loading conditions across mechanical and electrical components, grid testing and design validation.

The world’s most powerful grid emulation

£6m combined investment from Innovate UK and the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) will also be used to install the world’s largest and most powerful grid emulation system at the Blyth test facility. This will allow for investigation into how next generation turbines interact with the electrical distribution system.

Andrew Jamieson, ORE Catapult chief executive, said: “By working closely together in areas such as power trains, blades and electrical infrastructure, we look forward to helping GE to both enhance their existing portfolio and bring new products and services to the offshore wind market, while simultaneously generating significant economic growth opportunities in the UK.”

Energy expert analysis

“Very positive news for ORE Catapult  and of course the Blyth test facility; a relationship that should help cement the North East’s reputation as a centre of excellence for the research and development of the next generation of advanced offshore wind turbines.” Alastair Fells MEI, Incorporated Eng, PG Dip Fuel Tech, BSc Hons

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