Hardware-in-the-Loop Testing of Utility-Scale Wind Turbine Generators

Vahan Gevorgian, Robert Wallen, Scott Lambert, Ryan Schkoda, Curtiss Fox, Ramtin Hadidi

Research output: NRELTechnical Report


Historically, wind turbine prototypes were tested in the field, which was--and continues to be--a slow and expensive process. As a result, wind turbine dynamometer facilities were developed to provide a more cost-effective alternative to field testing. New turbine designs were tested and the design models were validated using dynamometers to drive the turbines in a controlled environment. Over the years, both wind turbine dynamometer testing and computer technology have matured and improved, and the two are now being joined to provide hardware-in-the-loop (HIL) testing. This type of testing uses a computer to simulate the items that are missing from a dynamometer test, such as grid stiffness, voltage, frequency, rotor, and hub. Furthermore, wind input and changing electric grid conditions can now be simulated in real time. This recent advance has greatly increased the utility of dynamometer testing for the development of wind turbine systems.
Original languageAmerican English
Number of pages14
StatePublished - 2016

NREL Publication Number

  • NREL/TP-5000-64787


  • Clemson University
  • dynamometers
  • hardware-in-the-loop
  • NREL
  • testing
  • wind turbine


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