Energy yield and operations and maintenance costs of parallel wind turbine powertrains

Godwin Jimmy, Alasdair McDonald, James Carroll

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Most conventional wind turbine powertrains use single-input-single-output topologies (i.e. one gearbox coupled to a generator with a power converter) which when in a failed state produce no electrical power output. In this research, the annual energy production of a powertrain with single-input-multipleoutput subsystems (parallel powertrain) is analyzed using Raleigh probability distribution and multiple power curves correspoinding to the different failure states. The probability of the different failure states combined with the energy production at each failure state is modeled to derive a new method for the AEP for each parallel module, N. The results show that it is possible to have 7% extra AEP at below rated wind speed with a parallel powertrain. This is compared with another method using equivalent availability. Operation and maintenance cost for offshore wind turbines with parallel powertrains is modeled and shows that these costs increase slightly with more parallel subsystems. By using an over-rating factor of N/(N-1), the additional capital and operating costs are reduced when N gets larger. A 5% reduction in cost of energy is observed with using the parallel powertrain with more than 3 parallel subsystems.
Original languageEnglish
JournalIEEE Transactions on Sustainable Energy
Publication statusPublished - 1 Mar 2019


  • annual energy production
  • parallel subsystems
  • Raleigh probability distribution
  • failure states


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