Wind turbine manufacturers consider new drivetrain technology

A changing power-generation landscape has led to new challenges for both wind-turbine manufacturers and makers of turbine components. Will a shift toward new technology ensue?

Renewable Energy World Magazine | Volume 18 | Issue 5 | September/October 2015
Feature article by Tildy Bayar,
 Contributing Editor

In response to the changing nature of power generation and distribution, some manufacturers of utility-scale wind turbines are considering moving away from electrical drivetrains based on doubly-fed induction generators toward those using full-converter technology. This potential paradigm shift could ultimately determine which wind OEMs will dominate in a changing energy market.
Below the OEM level, but working symbiotically toward the same efficiency and profitability goals and subject to the same market factors, are the companies that manufacture and supply wind turbine components. One such firm is Finland’s ABB, which makes both types of drivetrain package.
On a recent visit to the company’s electrical drivetrain testing facility in Helsinki, Renewable Energy World spoke with ABB staff about how they test the different components, why they need to test them, and what’s in store for the future.

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