Offshore and Onshore Wind Energy Conversion: The Potential of a Novel Multiple-Generator Drivetrain
A multiple generator drivetrain (MGD), where a single large generator in a wind turbine is replaced by multiple generators with the same or different rated powers, is proposed along with an automatic switch as an alternative to an existing MGD configuration. Qualitative and quantitative comparisons of a MGD with a conventional drivetrain are provided to better understand the advantages and disadvantages of having a MGD in wind turbines. New approaches for improving the efficiency and the reliability, expanding the operational range, and reducing the cost of a wind turbine are mentioned. A simple mathematical model for a MGD with electromagnetic clutches is developed, a novel prototype of a MGD is designed and fabricated, and experiments are conducted on the prototype. It is concluded that a multiple-generator drivetrain with generators operating individually or in parallel has a better potential of improving the efficiency and the reliability, expanding the operational range, and reducing the cost of offshore and onshore wind turbines than the existing MGD configuration.
N. Goudarzi and W. D. Zhu, "Offshore and Onshore Wind Energy Conversion: The Potential of a Novel Multiple-Generator Drivetrain", Key Engineering Materials, Vols. 569-570, pp. 644-651, 2013