Power & Energy Solutions

The premier renewable energy publication

Cold climate testing

PES went to Belgium to investigate the latest development in extreme climate testing. The OWI-lab is using field experience to provide a purpose built testing facility in the heart Europe.

Alternative energy sources are a key part in achieving the goals set at the Paris climate conference in December 2015. Non-polluting energy sources are seen as a vital part in reaching the targets. Alternative energy sources have been implemented worldwide, sometimes in less than convenient places.

Field experience through completed projects has grown exponentially. This means more challenging projects have become viable options. It is now possible to embark on the projects, knowing the greater installation costs and OM challenges no longer outweigh the benefits, which come from this work.

One of the challenges, in this expanding business, is to cope with developments in remote locations, with extreme environmental conditions. OEMs and components suppliers are looking to adapt their products to these demanding environments, by optimising design or adding specialised features.

The adapted systems are prone to failures, which are related to these extreme conditions, such as sealing problems caused by differential thermal expansion, cracks due to change in brittleness, or problems with lubrication, or hydraulics due to changed viscosity. Therefore it is vital to validate the new (sub-) system in these harsh environmental conditions. Doing so will reduce the risk of problems later on in the project which could result in higher costs



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