Washington, D.C., March 25, 2011 — The U.S. Department of Energy's National Renewable Energy Laboratory has signed a contract with Romax Technology, Inc., as part a $10 million dynamometer construction project funded by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act.
Romax will assess the design, fabrication and testing of a 5-MW gearbox and the driveline equipment for a dynamometer test facility at NREL's National Wind Technology Center. The new gearbox will upgrade the NWTC's dynamometer test capabilities from a current capacity rating of 2.5-MW to 5-MW.
As the primary U.S. wind energy research and development facility, the NWTC provides the wind industry with customized turbine and component testing. The planned 5-MW dynamometer upgrade will enhance the research and operational capabilities of the U.S. wind industry.
Dynamometers enable industry and testing agencies to verify the performance and reliability of wind turbine drivetrain prototypes and commercial machines.
The assessment will include elements likely to affect reliability and performance such as the gears, bearings, lubrication system, assembly, and manufacturing methods.
One of the goals of the Recovery Act, signed by Congress in 2009, is to create new jobs and save existing ones. The Romax effort on DOE/NREL dynamometer construction project will be based at the Romax office in Boulder, Colo.
NREL is the U.S. Department of Energy's primary national laboratory for renewable energy and energy efficiency research and development. NREL is operated for DOE by The Alliance for Sustainable Energy, LLC.