Evaluation of the New B-REX Fatigue Testing System for Multi-Megawatt Wind Turbine Blades: Preprint

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaper


The National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) recently developed a new hybrid fatigue testing system called the Blade Resonance Excitation (B-REX) test system. The new system uses 65% less energy to test large wind turbine blades in half the time of NREL's dual-axis forced-displacement test method with lower equipment and operating costs. The B-REX is a dual-axis test system that combinesresonance excitation with forced hydraulic loading to reduce the total test time required while representing the operating strains on the critical inboard blade stations more accurately than a single-axis test system. The analysis and testing required to fully implement the B-REX was significant. To control unanticipated blade motion and vibrations caused by dynamic coupling between the flap,lead-lag, and torsional directions, we needed to incorporate additional test hardware and control software. We evaluated the B-REX test system under stable operating conditions using a combination of various sensors. We then compared our results with results from the same blade, tested previously using NREL's dual-axis forced-displacement test method. Experimental results indicate that strainlevels produced by the B-REX system accurately replicated the forced-displacement method. This paper describes the challenges we encountered while developing the new blade fatigue test system and the experimental results that validate its accuracy.
Original languageAmerican English
Number of pages17
StatePublished - 2004
Event43rd AIAA Aerospace Sciences Meeting and Exhibit - Reno, Nevada
Duration: 10 Jan 200513 Jan 2005


Conference43rd AIAA Aerospace Sciences Meeting and Exhibit
CityReno, Nevada

NREL Publication Number

  • NREL/CP-500-37075

Other Report Number

  • 15015118


  • resonance fatigue test system
  • wind energy
  • wind turbine blades
  • wind turbine fatigue test system


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