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Energies 2017, 10(11), 1686; doi:10.3390/en10111686

A Market-Based Analysis on the Main Characteristics of Gearboxes Used in Onshore Wind Turbines

1
European Commission, Joint Research Centre, Directorate C-Energy, Transport and Climate, Westerduinweg 3, NL-1755 LE Petten, The Netherlands
2
Department of Electrical Engineering, School of Engineering, University of Seville, 41092 Seville, Spain
3
Department of Mechanical and Manufacturing Engineering, School of Engineering, University of Seville, 41092 Seville, Spain
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 1 October 2017 / Revised: 19 October 2017 / Accepted: 20 October 2017 / Published: 25 October 2017
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Abstract

Even though wind energy is one of the most mature renewable technologies, it is in continuous development not only because of the trend towards larger wind turbines but also because of the development of new technological solutions. The gearbox is one of the components of the drive train in which the industry is concentrating more effort on research and development. Larger rotor blades lead to more demanding requirements for this component as a consequence of a higher mechanical torque and multiplication ratio (due to lower rotational speed of blades while the rotational speed on the generator side remains at similar values). In addition, operating conditions become increasingly demanding in terms of reliability, performance, and compactness. This paper analyses the different gearbox arrangements that are implemented by manufacturers of onshore wind turbines, as well as their market penetration (including different aspects that affect the design of the gearbox, such as drive train configuration and turbine size). The analysis carried out shows a clear convergence towards gearboxes with three stages. However, there is a noticeable diversity in the types of gears used, depending to a large extent on the preferences of each manufacturer but also on the nominal power of the wind turbine and drive train configuration. View Full-Text
Keywords: drive train; gearboxes; renewable energy; wind turbines drive train; gearboxes; renewable energy; wind turbines
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Vázquez-Hernández, C.; Serrano-González, J.; Centeno, G. A Market-Based Analysis on the Main Characteristics of Gearboxes Used in Onshore Wind Turbines. Energies 2017, 10, 1686.

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