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Prestigious German University Partners With MTS To Advance Wind Turbine Performance

EDEN PRAIRIE, Minn., June 19, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- MTS Systems Corporation (NASDAQ: MTSC), a leading global supplier of high-performance test systems and position sensors, today announced that it will collaborate with GE Power Conversion to supply a simulation system to RWTH Aachen University for its Center for Wind Power Drives (CWD). RWTH Aachen University will use this equipment to study and design wind turbines in an effort to further the use of wind as a reliable, economical energy source. RWTH Aachen University's CWD is a globally renowned research institution located in Aachen, Germany. 


RWTH Aachen University will integrate an MTS Non-Torque Loading (NTL) System and GE Prime Mover into its new 4MW (megawatt) Center for Wind Power Drives (CWD).  Scheduled to come online in the fall of 2014, the system will be used to apply complex, real-world loads to full-scale onshore wind turbine drive trains, enabling researchers from government, industry and academia to gain critical insight into their reliability and durability.

"The MTS NTL represents the state-of-the-art in large drive train and bearing test and simulation," said Dr. Rich Baker, Senior Vice President of MTS Test. "The system accurately replicates the complex and extreme forces impacting wind turbine drive trains in a laboratory setting. Simulating transient weather events, such as hurricane-force wind gusts, will allow the researchers to study the potential for damage to drive trains and evaluate mitigation strategies. Ultimately, this will result in more reliable turbines and lower operating costs."

The CWD will be among the first wind turbine test facilities to leverage hybrid simulation, an advanced technique that combines computer models with physical test systems. For its purposes, RWTH Aachen University will integrate a dynamic model of a wind turbine rotor system and virtual environment with an actual full-scale drive train coupled to an NTL system. Programmed simulations of wind events played out in the virtual model will direct the corresponding forces applied to the physical drive train. This technique offers valuable insight into the interaction of drive trains and full-scale structures under a wide variety of conditions.  

"With the ability to simulate a full array of wind events in a timely and cost-efficient manner, the Center for Wind Power Drives stands to become one of the premier research and development facilities for wind turbine drive train development," said University-Professor Dr.-Ing. G. Jacobs and Dr.-Ing. R. Schelenz of the CWD. "The technology and expertise from MTS has been and will continue to be instrumental to making our vision a reality."

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