Wind turbine drivetrains : state-of-the-art technologies and future development trends

R. Nejad, Amir and Keller, Jonathan and Guo, Yi and Sheng, Shawn and Polinder, Henk and Watson, Simon and Dong, Jianning and Qin, Zian and Ebrahimi, Amir and Schelenz, Ralf and Guzmán, Francisco Gutiérrez and Cornel, Daniel and Golafshan, Reza and Jacobs, Georg and Blockmans, Bart and Bosmans, Jelle and Pluymers, Bert and Carroll, James and Koukoura, Sofia and Hart, Edward and McDonald, Alasdair and Natarajan, Anand and Torsvik, Jone and Moghadam, Farid K. and Daems, Pieter-Jan and Verstraeten, Timothy and Peeters, Cédric and Helsen, Jan (2022) Wind turbine drivetrains : state-of-the-art technologies and future development trends. Wind Energy Science, 7 (1). pp. 387-411. ISSN 2366-7451 (

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This paper presents the state-of-the-art technologies and development trends of wind turbine drivetrains – the system that converts kinetic energy of the wind to electrical energy – in different stages of their life cycle: design, manufacturing, installation, operation, lifetime extension, decommissioning and recycling. Offshore development and digitalization are also a focal point in this study. Drivetrain in this context includes the whole power conversion system: main bearing, shafts, gearbox, generator and power converter. The main aim of this article is to review the drivetrain technology development as well as to identify future challenges and research gaps. The main challenges in drivetrain research identified in this paper include drivetrain dynamic responses in large or floating turbines, aerodynamic and farm control effects, use of rare-earth material in generators, improving reliability through prognostics, and use of advances in digitalization. These challenges illustrate the multidisciplinary aspect of wind turbine drivetrains, which emphasizes the need for more interdisciplinary research and collaboration.


R. Nejad, Amir, Keller, Jonathan, Guo, Yi, Sheng, Shawn, Polinder, Henk, Watson, Simon, Dong, Jianning, Qin, Zian, Ebrahimi, Amir, Schelenz, Ralf, Guzmán, Francisco Gutiérrez, Cornel, Daniel, Golafshan, Reza, Jacobs, Georg, Blockmans, Bart, Bosmans, Jelle, Pluymers, Bert, Carroll, James ORCID logoORCID:, Koukoura, Sofia, Hart, Edward ORCID logoORCID:, McDonald, Alasdair, Natarajan, Anand, Torsvik, Jone, Moghadam, Farid K., Daems, Pieter-Jan, Verstraeten, Timothy, Peeters, Cédric and Helsen, Jan;