Rain Erosion Tester

How to improve the longevity of leading edge protection systems

As it is today, the leading edges of wind turbine rotor blades often have to be repaired due to harsh weather conditions and increased rotor speeds. Therefore, it is important to investigate how to improve the longevity of the leading edge protection systems.

The Rain Erosion Tester from R&D Test Systems helps improve the longevity of wind turbine blades by testing erosion on the leading edges of the blades. This test system has a proven level of repeatability and fulfils DNV GL's Recommended Practice (DNVGL-RP-0171) for the testing of rotor blade erosion protection systems.

It is based on a 3-bladed helicopter principle with test specimens shaped like the leading edges of a standard wind turbine blade. This test setup ensures conditions very similar to real-life harsh weather in an accelerated way.

The Rain Erosion Tester has earned international acclaim for its reliability and documented repeatability and is widely used by leading wind turbine manufacturers and test centres. So far, six companies worldwide use the test system - among them LM Wind Power and ORE Catapult.

Adjustable test parameters

2.0-3.5 mm
Droplet size (diameter)
200-400 mm
Drop height
29-53 mm/h
Rain intensity
4-30 degrees °C
Water temperature
63-173 m/s
Test specimen tip speed
User-defined
Time slice can be reduced to 15 min

The equipment

  • Three-bladed rotor with test specimen holders
  • Leading-edge-shaped test specimens; exposed length approx. 390 mm
  • Intense and adjustable rain generation
  • Adjustable water temperature
  • Water demineralisation system
  • Controlled air exchange (with frost protection)
  • Camera for documentation of erosion
  • Test report generation including tracking of test parameters
  • Full-automatic operation
  • CE marking

Benefits of using the Rain Erosion Tester

  • Comprehensive turnkey test system delivered in a housing made of 20-foot containers
  • Fulfils DNV GL's Recommended Practice: "Testing of rotor blade erosion protection systems"
  • Proven level of repeatability and reliability
  • User-friendly operator interface
  • High uptime because tests can be conducted automatically after the initial running-in
  • Automatic erosion documentation (photo) and test report generation
  • The design of the test specimens allows for the testing of various surfaces and materials such as FRP and aluminium
  • Test report generation including tracking of test parameters
  • Full-automatic operation
  • CE marking
Rain Erosion Tester

Turnkey solution

R&D Test Systems offers a turnkey solution which includes the rain system, a rotor with test specimen holders, drainage, ventilation and control system delivered in a housing of 20-foot containers.

System safety is an important parameter, seeing as it ensures safe operation during tests at extreme rotational velocities. System safety is guaranteed both by R&D Test Systems and by external machine safety specialists.