Laulagun in the Windbox project

Laulagun is one of the partner companies within the Windbox consortium, the first advanced wind turbine manufacturing centre in the Basque Country. In addition to Laulagun, the project also includes the participation of the companies Antec, Erreka, Glual, Grupo Wec, Hine and Siemens Gamesa.

Windbox offers the ability to test components for all types of wind turbines (>6MW), providing testing facilities to promote and enable the development of highly reliable optimised design products. As well as, the validation of the design, calculation and manufacturing processes as such.

To this end, it relies on four test benches located in Eibar (45 kilometres from the Laulagun facilities):

  • Three-blade bench: Enables accelerated fatigue, extreme and friction tests to be carried out on full-scale bearings.
  • Hydraulic bench
  • Friction ring bench
  • Yaw bench

Laulagun 8MW offshore bearing test

The Windbox test rig consists of a large number of real components, such as the hub, a hydraulic drive, screws, pitch plates and bearings. They are attached to the blades upon which test loads are applied.

We work with the following test capacities: extreme 55,000 kNm and fatigue 35,000 kNm. The blade where the extreme load is applied has a compensation system to reduce the cut.

Three Laulagun bearings were tested at the same time in the first test carried out on this three-blade bench. The test has been carried out during 2019.

The outer diameter of these bearings is about five meters, and the total weight of each one is seven tons.

In addition, it should be highlighted that the rolling fatigue test with a 25-year equivalent life cycle has been carried out. Different load levels have been applied during the test by simulating the equivalent loads for each wind bin.

Laulagun’s monitoring and validation experts have been constantly monitoring the test during the test. Laulagun has monitored the state of the bearing (with sensors and grease analysis), as well as the sensorisation of the bench (inductive sensors, temperature sensors, strain gauges, …), both external and integrated into the bearing.

During the bearing test carried out in Windbox, the Condition Monitoring System was validated, in order to read the data without any connection.

The dismantling was carried out during July and the bearing is currently at the Laulagun facilities to carry out the post-mortem analysis in the coming weeks.

Once the test has been completed and the sample examined, both the design and calculation methodology, as well as the blade bearing for offshore environments in 8 MW machines, will be validated.

Thus, Laulagun achieves a good positioning by developing technology, adding a competitive advantage over its competitors and responding to the current needs of the offshore market.