Vestas says that its current and future product portfolio will benefit from the start-up of the largest and most powerful test bench in the wind industry.

The wind technology firm says that the 42 m-long, 9 m-wide test bench, located at Vestas’ global testing centre in Aarhus, Denmark, is capable of testing the full nacelle of the V164-8.0 MW wind turbine, its 8 MW, next-generation offshore wind turbine that it is currently developing.

The test bench is designed to validate the performance, robustness and reliability of wind turbine technology over a simulated 25-year lifetime. Motors powering the bench produce 20 MW, and the torque exerted on the components of the turbine can be up to 18 meganewton metres, says Vestas.

The test bench can stress the drivetrain, including the gearbox, main shaft and generator, reproducing the harsh conditions of the North Sea in a controlled environment.

Last year Vestas and Dong Energy announced a cooperation agreement on the testing and development of the V164-8.0 MW unit. Vestas is expecting that the first unit will be installed and commissioned at its Østerild test centre in 2014.