Testing Facilities

The workshops of the conference that will require laboratory infrastructure will be hosted at the mechanical engineering building, which is just a few hundred meters from the main library and restaurant. The RURERG research group has set up these facilities in order to conduct research on small wind turbines, investigating both electrical and mechanical issues.

Axial flux generator testing facility

axial_flux_testing

The axial flux generator bench testing facility, has the ability to host 15 people, and allows for the testing of axial flux generators of power up to 9kW and maximum diameter of up to 1m. With the use of a 60 HP DC motor, a DC bi-directional drive and a tachogenerator, the axial flux generators can be driven at different and constant revolutions per minute (RPM).

Different loads can be applied to the generators such as a grid-tie inverter for grid connection or a 12/24/48V battery bank for battery charging modes, along with a diversion load controller and resistive load. In addition, a three phase ohmic load of maximum power 3.3kW can be connected directly to the generator. A rotary torque transducer with a DAC card is used for measuring the mechanical power in terms of torque and rpm at the shaft of the generator, provided by the DC motor drive, and the electrical output of the generator is measured using an oscilloscope with current and voltage probes.

The experimental setup mentioned allows for a complete analysis of the generator’s behaviour under different situations. The following are some of the generator tests that can be performed: generator voltages under no load and at different RPM, voltages and currents under load and at different RPM, input mechanical power, output electrical power and efficiency at constant RPM and varying current, input mechanical power, output electrical power and efficiency at constant current and varying RPM. These tests can also be performed for different loads depending on the application of the generator. Other aspects of the generator such as phase inductance and resistance can also be measured.

 

Closed wind tunnel tensing facility

wind_tunnel

In addition there exists a closed loop wind tunnel, with the ability to host 15 people, which allows for rotors of up to 1.2m diameter to be tested in wind speeds of up to 13m/s. With the use of a 900W DC motor, a DC bi-directional drive and a tachogenerator, the rotors can be driven at different and constant revolutions per minute (RPM) and specifically up to 1000 RPM. A rotary torque transducer with a DAC card is used for measuring the mechanical power in terms of torque and RPM at the shaft of the rotor. The rotors can be driven at different Reynolds numbers and different tip speed rations in order to describe the behaviour of the rotor blades.

 

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