Advanced Wind Turbine Technology

Each wind turbine design has a specific cut-in or startup wind speed where the rotor begins to turn and generate power. Lowering the cut-in speed while retaining the high wind speed safety and performance will result in the turbine generating more power over a given time frame.

A wind turbine can incorporate a Milner CVT to control the speed ratio between the rotor and the generator. This can lower the cut-in speed due to the lower input torque required on the rotor. To maintain power generation capability across a wide band of wind speeds, the MCVT can shift the drive train into a lower ratio as wind speed increased.

Continuously variable transmissions (CVTs) are able to adjust the ratio between their input and output speeds like geared transmissions do, but they do so in a “step-less” manner with the following benefits:

  • Ratio change can be done under load. Most other transmission systems operate like a bicycle derailleur where the load needs to be shed momentarily while the gear change takes place.
  • Ratio change occurs without the need to clutch and change gears, so there is no interruption of power delivered to load.

An additional benefit from having a MCVT in the wind turbine drive train would be to enable the rotor to temporarily store the energy of wind gusts. With a variable speed transmission in the drive train, the rotor speed increases while the generator speed remains constant. Energy from the wind gust is then stored in the rotor’s inertia, and can be transferred to the generator.

For more information on how the MCVT lowers the cost of energy derived from wind turbines, please click here.