Center for Wind Power Drives


With the foundation on the Center for Wind Power Drives (CWD) another milestone in the research of wind turbines is set in Aachen. The Center is equipped with an innovative 4MW-wind turbine-system test rig. RWTH Aachen University is thus strengthening the research efforts in the field of onshore wind turbines.

The CWD navigates and organizes the interdisciplinary research activities at RWTH Aachen University in the area of wind turbine drive train systems. These research activities contain both fundamental scientific analyses and pre-competitive research and development projects.

In the interdisciplinary project Communal Energy Supply Systems of the Future (KESS - Kommunale Energieversorgungssysteme der Zukunft), for example, technologies and concepts for flexible power production, power distribution and energy storage in networked decentralized systems are being researched. The objective of the project is to create an energy supply system for regions that is tailored to their needs, e.g. by taking energy demand and regionally available energy sources into account.

Within the framework of the research project HydRoLa-6M, however, a hydrodynamic rotor bearing concept is to be developed and tested into prototypes in a disassembled wind turbine drive train. Despite the advantages of this bearing concept, the technical and economic risk is characterized by possible extreme wear consequences under critical operating conditions. Since the design and calculation of such bearing arrangements clearly go beyond the state of the art, neither a purely scientific nor a purely industrial implementation is expedient.

An example of a project that has already been completed is Rapid Wind, in which a new type of drive train for multi-megawatt wind turbines (WTGs) is being designed. The multiple generator concept is merged with the high-speed application of electrical machines. The objective is to combine the specific advantages of both concepts in order to achieve opposing objectives such as material and cost savings while simultaneously increasing availability and equal or better energy efficiency.