Climate chamber testing

OWI-Lab's climatic test center: arctic cold down to -60°C, icing conditions, tropical hot or dry heat desert conditions up to +60°C on demand


OWI-Lab’s climatic test facility is used to test and verify wind turbine components and full integrated systems as gearboxes, generators, liquid filled and cast resin transformers, power converters, hydraulic systems, pitch & yaw drives / assemblies, anti- and de-icing systems or coatings, etc..., in extreme climatic conditions to which wind turbines can be exposed in their full lifetime (either during transport, storage, installation and in their operational lifetime). A specific focus of the climatic test lab is in to test cold-start-up sequences, cold climate / winterization effects, and icing conditions on large electro-mechanical equipment.

OWI-Lab's large climatic test chamber specs:

- Dimensions: 10.6m x 7m x 8m
- Capability to test >150 ton machinery
- Temperature range: -60°C to +60°C
- Thermal cycling possibilities
- Thermal camera to monitor test campaign in extreme temperatures
- 2%RH to 95%RH
- Solar Infrared-heat 10-1000W/m² / 3m x 3m array
- Large cooling capacity: +60°C to -40°C air temp in 1 hour
- Icing & ice-spray tests possible
- Cold start-test-up bench for gearboxes available (10kNM break-away torque)
- Flexible power set-up 50Hz/60Hz up to 10MW for electrical testing load testing

Special test infrastructure for wind power R&D: We house a 2.1MW 'cold climate' wind turbine gearbox available to facilitate R&D projects and validation tests on (new) lubricants, (new) cold start-up sequences and the thermal behavior of gearbox auxiliaries. New lubrication systems and new lubricants can be functionally tested and demonstrated in the most extreme conditions in a real life set-up. Also a BIO-Slim KFAF 4MVA offshore wind turbine transformer is available for R&D-projects on cold start-up testing and thermal behavior in general.

The facility is part of Sirris, a collective technology center, meaning that the climatic test facility is also available and used by spill-over industries active in for example: Solar Power / Energy & Grid (e.g. switch gears, inverters, circuit breakers, transformers, GIS-systems,...),  Off-highway vehicles & Mining equipment, Automotive applications, Defence, Telecom, Aerospace, Shipping, etc...

More information and examples of climatic test campaigns in different sector can be found here.

Testing standards that can be supported and are commonly performed:

- Guideline DNVGL-RP-0363 - Extreme temperature conditions for wind turbines

- Guideline DNVGL-OS-A201 - Winterization for cold climate operations

- NEN-EN-IEC 60068-2-1 (cold )
- NEN-EN-IEC 60068-2-2 (dry heat)
- NEN-EN-IEC 60068-2-14 (change of temperature / thermal cycles)
- NEN-EN-IEC 60068-2-30 (damp heat)

- ISO 19897 (conditions of icing tests)

- Thermal shock test according IEC-60076-11 / GOST-R 54827
(cast resin transformers ; class C1 (-5°C) ; C2 (-25°C) ; C3 (-45°C); C4 (-60°C))

A factsheet of the large climatic test chamber can be found here.
Contact Pieter Jan Jordaens for more information and test campaign quotations.

One-stop-shop for climate chamber testing of your application

OWI-Lab can provide a one-stop-shop for your preferred climate test, either on mechanical, hydraulic, electronic or electrical equipment. We offer state-of-the-art test infrastructure, turnkey test engineering, test campaign preparation, execution and reporting. Besides the large climate chamber itself, OWI-Lab invested in dedicated testbenches and approaches to functionally test cold start-up procedures of rotating equipment like gearboxes, generators, hybrid and hydraulic drivetrains for wind turbines. Also functional electrical test can be performed. The complete test-infrastructure can be rented on demand when companies want to execute test campaigns themselves, or OWI-Lab's engineers perform the tests.  

The test facility is located at the Zuid-Natie breakbulk terminal in the port of Antwerp close to the waterways and with direct access to cranes up to 150 ton for handling road, train and ship transports. Transportation and logistics from company to test facility can be foreseen by Zuid-Natie. Heavy duty forklifts, two 150 ton cranes and 45 ton PPM’s are available to handle test specimens with large weights into the climate chamber.

Case stories:

Testing a 15MVA transformer at extremely cold conditions in the large climatic test chamber

XANT mid-sized wind turbine tested for cold climate conditions at OWI-Lab

Multi-MW electrical systems for wind turbines tested at OWI-Lab’s environmental test facility

Extended climatic durability testing on power electronics for the renewable industry

Testing 80 ton of steel to ensure reliable wind power production in all harsh conditions

TU Delft performs R&D icing and low temperatures tests on new de-icing technique at OWI-Lab’s climate chamber

White paper OWI-Lab: Why performing climate chamber tests for wind energy applications?

Storage and cold start system test offshore wind turbine transformer - CG Power

Material performance assessment offshore wind turbine service cage - Sky Man International

EWEA 2014 conference: "Cold start of a 5.5MVA offshore transformer"

Your climatic test & validation contact:

Pieter Jan Jordaens - Business Development & Innovation / OWI-Lab manager
+32 491 345382