IN DEPTH: Hybrid wind drivetrains

Climbing the tower to install Moventas’ FusionDrive inside a turbine in Oregon

Climbing the tower to install Moventas’ FusionDrive inside a turbine in Oregon

Traditional wind turbine gearboxes are notorious for going wrong. Gearless direct-drives are heavy and expensive.

Neither is seen as the perfect solution for the next generation of long-bladed machines being designed for installation in stormy, salt-laden winds as far as 300km from shore.

What the industry needs — according to several drivetrain designers — is a hybrid of the two.

By grafting together the best aspects of geared and direct-drive technologies, hybrid medium-speed drivetrains promise to be smaller, lighter, more reliable and more efficient than their pure-play counterparts in the 3-10MW class.

And not only would these hybrids be cheaper, but they would ratchet up output while cutting installation Log in to read complete article.

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