A partnership with LORC and Schaeffler has secured R&D Test Systems as the developer and supplier of the new test facility.

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The transition from fossil to renewable energies is being driven to a great extent by wind turbines. Wind turbines are becoming larger and more powerful, which forces the components used in the wind turbines to follow the same upscaling. However, it is never easy to scale the very complex and large components in a wind turbine, so thorough development and testing are needed to comply with the increasing requirements.

To accommodate this, Lindø Offshore Renewables Center (LORC) is building the world’s most powerful test bench for main shaft bearings at their location at Odense Port, Lindø, Denmark. The investment is in the mid-double-digit millions and includes a 10 million EUR grant from the Danish GreenLab program. Schaeffler played a major part in defining the specifications of the test facility and will be the first customer to test its main shaft bearings for future generations of wind turbines in cooperation with OEMs. As a market leader and strategic development partner, Schaeffler is rising to the challenge and will contribute actively to the development of multi-MW wind turbines.

Bernd Endres, VP Business Unit Wind, Schaeffler Industrial, stresses: “We have been gaining valuable insights for the development of bearing solutions since 2011 with our large-size bearing test bench 'Astraios,’ the world’s most powerful test bench at the time. With the new test facility, we will now be able to advance into new and future dimensions and contribute to a more rapid development of reliable multimegawatt turbines.”

To develop and build the new test bench, LORC has appointed R&D Test Systems, which has ten years of experience developing test benches for the wind and aerospace industry. R&D Test Systems was also the turnkey developer of several of LORC's existing wind turbine test facilities, including the 16 MW Test Facility and the large 25 MW Design and Validation Test Facility.

“This will be the third test bench that R&D Test Systems develops and builds at LORC capable of applying large wind loads. The former two have been record-breaking, and the new main bearing test facility will yet again break records and set the standard for main bearing testing. We are very proud to be part of this project. It is always exciting for us to work on these very large test benches, and we look forward to working with both LORC and Schaeffler to realize the largest Main Bearing Test Facility,” states Peder Lund Rasmussen, General Manager, R&D Test Systems.

The building process is about to start at Lindø, and in the first half of 2024, the massive foundation will be cast under the open sky before Odense Port erects the test hall around it. In early 2025, the test facility components and infrastructure will be installed. The new main bearing test facility is planned to enter commercial operation by the end of August 2025.

The world's most powerful test facility for wind turbine main bearings is being built in Lindø, Denmark. Schaeffler cooperates with LORC and R&D Test Systems: Jens Föcker, General Manager Schaeffler Denmark, Bernd Endres, VP Regional Business Unit Wind, Schaeffler, Peder Lund Rasmussen, General Manager, R&D Test Systems, Peter Winther, Key Account Manager, R&D Test Systems, Sascha Zaps, CEO Region Europe, Schaeffler, Dr. Michael Pausch, CTO Industrial, Schaeffler, Dr. Stefan Spindler, CEO Industrial, Schaeffler, Schaeffler, Torben Lorentzen, CEO LORC (from left).

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