The developers of new wind turbines need to test prototype wind turbines thoroughly before the commercial launch. They also need to execute measurement campaigns for certification purposes. This means that there is a demand for sites where prototype wind turbines can be tested and high-quality, certified measurements are performed.
Since 2003, ECN has operated its wind turbine test facility (EWTW) close to the village of Kreileroord in Wieringermeer. The site is a unique facility. It comprises an R&D wind farm and six prototype test locations.
Supporting facilities are five meteorological towers, a 36 MVA grid connection, the measurement infrastructure, data collection equipment and a test site control centre. The site has a favourable wind climate: the average wind speed at 100 m height is 8.3 m/s.
Prototype test locations
The test site can accommodate prototypes with a hub height of up to 150 m and a rotor diameter of up to 175 m. Due to the favourable wind climate, tests can be executed at all desired wind speeds within a short period of time. ECN’s measurement team is fully accredited, which ensures that the measurement results can be used for certification purposes.
The site also has a permanent wind farm consisting of five 2.5 MW Nordex N80 wind turbines for specific research and development programmes. Many international research projects have been performed using the ECN research wind turbines. The largest ever experiment with Lidar technology within a wind farm was recently conducted at EWTW.