Manufacturers of wind turbines face numerous challenges – not least due to ever-changing statutory requirements and safety regulations. Since development costs for new turbines are high in this industry, technical efficiency and keeping costs down are key to the development process. At the same time tests are becoming increasingly more comprehensive, which makes managing test data more and more of a challenge.
MicroNova has more than 30 years of experience in the domain of testing and provides comprehensive support to companies in the wind energy sector in the fields of test efficiency, data management, and virtualization..
Prototypes are cost-intensive and complex to build, especially in the wind energy sector. Realistic wind turbine simulations allow manufacturers to obtain dependable test results on the function of the control components, quickly and at an early stage in the development process – long before the finished wind turbine is constructed. This helps reduce failures in the field, which both saves costs and benefits the external perception. MicroNova consultants provide comprehensive advice on all aspects of testing and then assist with implementation: from strategy, tooling, and processes, to automation, virtualization, and modeling of test environments.
Test data from development, and field data from active wind farms is vitally important in the wind energy industry. Professional data management can help to optimize development, production, and maintenance processes, for example by identifying similar faults from different turbines and pooling them together, which allows vulnerabilities to be identified efficiently.
Services at a glance
- Analysis of test strategies and test processes within the company, and preparation of suggestions for optimization
- Support with the introduction of test tools and processes
- Support with the validation of software projects
- Custom advice on test infrastructure in the areas of hardware-in-the-loop (HiL), X-in-the-loop (XiL), virtualization, test automation, test case generation, and modeling
- Advice and support in the administration and analysis of the varied statistical data in the test and live environment (Big Data)
- Analysis and processing of field data for optimized identification and reduction of vulnerabilities
- Data analysis
- Process analysis
- Process introduction
- Test strategy
- Test equipment, e.g., HiL systems, cards & modules
- Test execution, including test automation, automated test case generation
- Virtualization for control units and test process
- Test tooling (hardware and software)
- Environment modeling, e.g., Matlab/Simulink, C models
Following wind turbine manufacturer Enercon’s very positive experience with a hardware-in-the-loop (HiL) system from MicroNova for testing blade pitch control components, the company commissioned the construction of a test field with five HiL simulators. These are intended to confront and check the safety functions of the components in the tower base, in the nacelle and for the rotor blades at as early a stage as possible with all the conditions that will occur subsequently during operation of the wind turbine. Another HiL system validates the control unit, which ensures controlled starting and stopping of the wind turbine as well as the higher-level power regulation and load control during operation. Thanks to their special design, the five HiL systems can also be operated together in a network. A detailed article about the project is available here.
Project content and applied methods:
- Project planning of a networked HiL concept for the validation of multiple control units in a network
- Introduction of the test automation solution EXAM into the group
- Joint development of test concepts for test automation
- Creation of modeling guidelines in the area of environment simulation and test automation
- Training of employees in test automation with EXAM
- Support for the test project in test case creation and test execution
- Collaboration in environment modeling
- Support with maintenance and adaptation of the test hardware
- Adaptation and expansion of the test hardware for new or modified test items
- Design and development of new modular test hardware for new generations of control units
Applied technical skills and tools:
- Expertise in the field of hardware-in-the-loop systems
- EXAM (test automation solution) – Application and training competence
- Matlab/Simulink (environment simulation)
- Scrum-based collaboration with the client
Use our experience to your advantage
MicroNova consultants have many years of practical experience in their respective fields and have direct access to our experts in hardware and software development as well as testing. With MicroNova Consulting you get not only consulting, but also the knowledge and experience from more than 30 years of automotive engineering.