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Gyrotorque transmission system for wind turbines

Jamieson, P. and Jegatheeson, M. and Leithead, W.E. (2004) Gyrotorque transmission system for wind turbines. In: Improvements in Drive Train Related Technology, 2004-03-29.

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The GyroTorqueTM transmission system employs gyroscopic torque reaction to transmit power offering an alternative to the gearbox and electrical variable speed drive of a conventional wind turbine. The power transmission is fundamentally oscillatory and is rectified by mechanical elements. A precessing gyro maps speed to torque and, since the wind turbine rotor inertia strongly filters rotor speed variation, output power is insensitive to wind turbulence because it reflects wind turbine rotor speed variability rather than rotor torque variability. The GyroTorqueTM system has only bearing losses and potentially a high efficiency. Mechanical control of the input to the GyroTorqueTM system enables wide range variable speed operation of the wind turbine rotor using a conventional synchronous generator. At present, a 6 gyro system driven by an axial cam and connected to a conventional synchronous generator is the preferred system. Loads and power quality have been addressed with computer simulation models of the GyroTorqueTM system. Outline assessment of system mass and cost gives encouragement that it may be less than for conventional transmission systems.