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Title: The DOE Next-Generation Drivetrain for Wind Turbine Applications: Gearbox, Generator, and Advanced Si/SiC Hybrid Inverter System: Preprint

This paper reports on the design and testing results from the U.S. Department of Energy Next-Generation Wind Turbine Drivetrain Project. The drivetrain design reduces the cost of energy by increasing energy capture through drivetrain efficiency improvements; by reducing operation and maintenance costs through reducing gearbox failures; and by lowering capital costs through weight reduction and a series of mechanical and electronic innovations. The paper provides an overview of the drivetrain gearbox and generator and provides a deeper look into the power converter system. The power converter has a number of innovations including the use of hybrid silicon (Si)/silicon carbide (SiC) isolated baseplate switching modules. Switching energies are compared between SiC and Si PIN diodes. The efficiency improvement by use of the SiC diode in a three-level converter is also described. Finally, a brief discussion covering utility interconnect requirements for turbines is provided with a particular focus on utility events that lead to high transient torque loads on drivetrain mechanical elements.
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Conference: Presented at the IEEE Energy Conversion Congress and Exposition, 18-22 September 2016, Milwaukee, Wisconsin
Research Org:
NREL (National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL), Golden, CO (United States))
Sponsoring Org:
USDOE Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE), Wind and Water Technologies Office (EE-4W)
Country of Publication:
United States
17 WIND ENERGY wind energy; cost-of-energy; drivetrain; permanent magnet generator; silicon carbide; SiC; Silicon PIN diode; medium voltage inverter; neutral point clamp NPC; inverter efficiency; FERC 661; NERC utility interconnect; LVRT; frequency support; negative sequence; asynchronous generation; converter efficiency