A New Platform for
A Flexible Test System
With almost 100 GW installed on a global scale, Siemens Gamesa (SG) is one of the world’s leading manufacturers of wind turbines. On the establishment of a new factory in Cuxhaven, Germany, SG realized the need for a faster and more flexible test system to secure the future production of wind turbine generators. A system that could easily be converted to measure on future – perhaps radically different – generator models. Moreover, a system that was ready to be implemented to other production lines at the factory.
SG wanted a test that could be paused and resumed later on, because generator tests are very long-lasting. Hence, the production line should be able for sudden emerging needs. In addition, it was important not to be dependent on specific measuring instruments. In contrast, having the option of replacing the instruments depending on availability with no compromises on the measurement results.
SG’s high-quality generators are tested with high voltages and currents and must have verified insulation resistance in the giga-ohm range. A 200-ton generator also has a certain physical size, so all measurements must be accurate and stable through long cables. In addition to meeting the high requirements, we also had to contribute our know-how in physics and measurement techniques. For example, by selecting measuring instruments, relays, connections, and measuring methods which met the high requirements for a stable generator test.
A key goal was, among other things, to develop a new instrument for measuring resistance in the generator windings, as no existing measuring instrument could meet the requirements for measuring currents and accuracy.
With ProFactory, we have a complete test system for our wind turbines generators. Previously, we had challenges with automated tests in terms of system flexibility and repeatable measurement results. Now, our system is secure and modular, making it possible to replace our instruments easily and quickly, while still making completely accurate measurements. GPower is a competent and preferred supplier who – in addition to being leading experts in testing and measurement – also manages to handle project management in relation to everything from project planning and budgets to subcontractors.
A GPower ProFactory Solution
Based on the specifications above, we chose to offer our ProFactory solution. Most requirements for the system could be resolved within the existing ProFactory structure, while new parts were developed in a joint-venture collaboration that benefited both parties.
ProFactory in Short:
- With ProFactory, you can set up what products you would like to test with which sequences. In addition, which test parameters applying to which product variants and defining different test parameters for the first test, respectively retest. The operator is also able to pause and resume tests, just as a test developer e.g., can run sub tests interactively. Features resulting in an enormous flexibility and re-usability, which was the primary parameters requested by SG.
- The solution also includes our Devizer instrument drivers. Devizer offers unique feature-based hardware abstraction, including to replace instruments completely free, if equivalent features are offered. Devizer can automatically document the instrument used for the project and validate whether the instrument meets the measurement requirements specified in the test sequence. A solution that both ensures test quality and reduces the development time and cost of measuring instruments.
- ProFactory not only offers great flexibility and savings on start-up and maintenance of tests. ProFactory is also a standard product that you should not develop and maintain yourself. Moreover, it builds upon other market-leading, standardized software products such as TestStand and Switch Executive from NI (National Instruments). By choosing ProFactory, it is easier for you to scale and support your test efforts globally.
The Project Today
The project was completed in the summer of 2020, when the system was integrated into the electrical and mechanical installations. The complete system is now installed and testing wind turbine generators at SG’s factory.