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ZF Wind Power invests in 30MW test rig

The wind market is continuously evolving and ZF Wind Power meets this rapidly growing demand by strengthening its position as a strategic partner. With targeted investments, presented at Wind Energy Hamburg, the company reinforces the commitment to their partners while empowering a sustainable future together with them.

As a leading innovator, ZF Wind Power is continuously increasing the torque levels of their gearboxes and powertrains. The team strives for high quality and invests largely in validation. “Extensive validation is the foundation of ZF’s innovations. Testing allows us to contain the risks inherent to the wind industry and it is essential to receive approval from customers, insurers, and certification agencies in order to launch new designs”, says Dr Martin Knops, CTO of ZF Wind Power. “To extend our portfolio, we started installing the world’s largest test rig”, continues Mr Knops. With a length of 60m, the rig will test the dynamic behaviour of the main bearings, the gearbox, and the generator on the system level under real conditions with functional load tests, dynamics, and robustness tests. It covers a maximum torque of 45MNm, a maximum bending moment of 64MNm, and a maximum axial force of 7,500kN.

The 30MW test rig will be installed at the Belgian headquarters of ZF Wind Power, home to ZF’s core knowhow in wind gearbox innovation and validation expertise. The installation will be in operation as of 2024 and it will secure ZF Wind Power’s position in the wind market for the upcoming decades. “The development of ZF Wind Power’s Test & Prototype Center allows us to expand our offering from modular wind gearbox platforms to complete powertrain systems. Together with our partners, we take on challenges, build modelling tools, and introduce new production processes. This demonstrates our commitment to partnering with our customers for innovative projects to empower a sustainable future together”, states Felix Henseler, CEO of ZF Wind Power. The Test & Prototype Center unlocks the wind potential for the next-generation turbines. This will be crucial for the success of the global energy transition. These models will accelerate the shift from climate-damaging fuels towards clean, renewable types of energy.