Wind Energy

Wind turbines have become a popular choice for renewable energy generation, especially in areas with consistent breezes. Each wind turbine is designed to have a specific cut-in (startup) wind speed where the rotor begins to turn and generate electricity. Below the cut-in speed, the wind is not strong enough to rotate the blades and generator. By lowering the cut-in speed (while retaining high wind speed performance) will result in the turbine generating more power over a period of time.

A wind turbine can incorporate an Orbital Traction Adjustable Speed Drive (ASD) between the turbine and the generator to control the speed ratio. The ASD acts like a continuously variable transmission (CVT), allowing for an infinite number of speed ratios that can be used in both high and low wind speed conditions. The ASD will allow for a lower cut-in speed by reducing the torque required on the rotor. As the wind speed increases, the ASD would shift to a higher gear and allow the generator to generate electricity at its optimum speed.

Advanced Power Generation-Wind Energy-1920w

The benefits of using an ASD with a wind turbine are:

  • Reduced cut-in speed for increased power generation
  • Able to install the ASD in both vertical axis wind turbines (VAWT) and horizontal axis wind turbines (HAWT). When combined with a VAWT, the ASD can improve electrical output by >30%
  • The wind turbine could temporarily store the energy of wind gusts. With the ASD in the drive train, a wind gust would increase the rotor speed but the ASD would keep the generator speed constant. Energy from the wind gust is then stored in the rotors inertia and can be transferred to the generator as the gust subsides