Sheffield-based Ekspan delivers wind turbine test rig

Posted on 20 Mar 2013

Ekspan, a Sheffield based structural engineering company, has built a giant rig to test some of the largest wind turbines ever to be constructed.

The rig can test 80m long wind turbine blades for fatigue and static loads that the blades will experience during their service life.

The blades, which are the length of nine double-decker buses, and will be used on offshore turbines around the world.

The company already provides the testing facilities to the largest wind turbine provider in the world, Danish company Vestas, for their 60m blades.

Matthew Dronfield, CEO of Ekspan said: “This unique opportunity to showcase the talents of our city region has resulted in economic benefits for of over £3m from this project alone.

“The blades are tested for dynamic lifetime and static limit to take each blade structure to its breaking point.”

Large scale test equipment is vital to maintain the viability of wind-power as turbines continue to get in the future. Ekspan has worked with other businesses across the Sheffield region to deliver the project.

“We have an ethos in working in collaboration and distributing benefit across the supply chains of the city. Ekspan is passionate about the skills our city has to offer and bringing together Sheffield’s high quality craftsmanship with technical innovation.”

The test rig left Sheffield last week on its way by road and sea to the wind turbine test facility on the Isle of Wight.


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