Techno-economic comparison of operational aspects for direct drive and gearbox-driven wind turbines

David McMillan, G.W. Ault

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

52 Citations (Scopus)
982 Downloads (Pure)

Abstract

The majority of wind turbines currently in operation have the conventional Danish concept design-that is, the three-bladed rotor of such turbines is indirectly coupled with an electrical generator via a gearbox. Recent technological developments have enabled direct drive wind turbines to become economically feasible. Potentially, direct drive wind turbines may enjoy higher levels of availability due to the removal of the gearbox from the design. However, this is only a theory: so far not substantiated by detailed analytic calculation. By providing such a calculation, this paper enables us to quantitatively evaluate technical and economic merits of direct drive and gearbox-driven wind turbines.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)191-198
Number of pages8
JournalIEEE Transactions on Energy Conversion
Volume25
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2010

Keywords

  • Markov chain
  • operational comparison
  • reliability
  • wind turbines

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