BLAEST, FRECON, and COWI in collaboration on new advanced and innovative blade test rig

BLAEST, FRECON, and COWI in collaboration on new advanced and innovative blade test rig

BLAEST (Blade Test Centre A/S) is in this year to become the world’s leading, independent test center for wind turbine blades, when a brand-new test hall on approx. 5,000 square meters is to be constructed. The test hall is built for among other customers such as VESTAS. FRECON will in close collaboration with BLAEST be responsible of the concept, design, and calculations on the steel structures on the new blade test rig, which is to have more advanced functions than previously. COWI will be responsible for the concrete structure.

An increased global focus on wind energy entails an intense competition between the wind turbine manufacturers, and the blades are becoming increasingly larger in order to maximize the wind turbine’s total MW capacity. For a blade test centre such as BLAEST, it is therefore extremely important to be able to keep up with the continuously new sizes of wind turbine blades for both on- and offshore. It is only a few years ago that the longest test blade was 88.4 meters, but now BLAEST is preparing themselves to be ready for blades up to +110 meters. Therefore, the existing test hall at the Port of Aalborg is expanded by 25 meters and beside it, a gigantic new test hall is already under construction.

BLAEST delivers blade tests to almost all European wind turbine manufacturers, but for the next long period, the customer VESTAS will take up the space on the approx. 5,000 square meters new test hall. Together, VESTAS and BLAEST have requirements for upgrading the blade test rigs with advanced features so that the test programs can be implemented as quickly and efficiently as possible.

The experienced engineering consultancy in mechanical design, FRECON A/S, has been selected to be that business partner who is expected to successfully deliver on the innovative assignment and at the same time ensure that the blade test rig is able to test varying types of blades. Based on BLAEST’s and VESTAS’ requirements and basic design, FRECON is responsible of concept and design of steel structures and the similarly fatigue and extreme load calculations.

CEO, Erik Steen Jensen, BLAEST:

“We have a tight schedule on the project. Thus, FRECON’s ability to quickly and efficiently implement concept design with associated strength analysis, supplier contact and budgeting, and subsequent detailed design has therefore been crucial to us. We have experienced a commitment and work effort that goes well beyond normal working hours and what one can reasonably expect from people. In addition, the collaboration between design and calculation works perfectly with FRECON.”

FRECON is thrilled for the assignment and is glad to be a part of the exciting growth journey for BLAEST. Together, they all look forward to seeing the finished test rig in use in the beginning of 2020.

Sebastian Mikkelsen, Senior Design Engineer, FRECON A/S:

”It is a super cool assignment, we have achieved. Of course, because we have a very solid experience from the Wind Turbine Industry but also because we have achieved the assignment on behalf of good recommendations and our fast and efficient way of approaching the assignment. To be a part of designing something that is so complex and innovative and can create faster and better test for the customers of BLAEST, simultaneous with creating more efficient green solutions for society – that is a kick to us.”


Photo: The construction of the new blade test hall. Photo kindly lend by BLAEST A/S.