Advancing wind-turbine technology & drivetrains

By Michelle Froese DOE is funding projects to reduce mass and cost while increasing the efficiency of wind generators. These projects will design generators that can be scaled up to at least 10 MW to capitalize on the trend of larger, more powerful turbines.
The Department of Energy (DOE) is funding four projects to develop high-efficiency, lightweight wind turbine generators, all of which are developing direct-drive technologies. Two of these generators are “superconducting” and do not use permanent magnets or rare earth materials.
Regardless of whether it’s direct drive or geared, these components are massive (200–320 tons for a 10-MW turbine generator system, and as

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