Research Papers

An Integrated Control and Design Framework for Optimizing Energy Capture and Component Life for a Wind Turbine Variable Ratio Gearbox

[+] Author and Article Information
John F. Hall

Department of Mechanical
and Aerospace Engineering,
University of Buffalo–SUNY,
Buffalo, NY 14260

Dushyant Palejiya, Mohamed L. Shaltout

Department of Mechanical Engineering,
University of Texas at Austin,
Austin, TX 78712

Dongmei Chen

Department of Mechanical Engineering,
University of Texas at Austin,
Austin, TX 78712
e-mail: dmchen@me.utexas.edu

1Present address: Department of Aerospace and Mechanical Engineering, State University of New York at Buffalo, Buffalo, NY 14260-4400.

2Corresponding author.

Contributed by the Solar Energy Division of ASME for publication in the JOURNAL OF SOLAR ENERGY ENGINEERING: INCLUDING WIND ENERGY AND BUILDING ENERGY CONSERVATION. Manuscript received August 19, 2013; final manuscript received February 9, 2015; published online February 27, 2015. Assoc. Editor: Yves Gagnon.

J. Sol. Energy Eng 137(2), 021022 (Apr 01, 2015) (8 pages) Paper No: SOL-13-1235; doi: 10.1115/1.4029812 History: Received August 19, 2013; Revised February 09, 2015; Online February 27, 2015

Small wind turbines are a promising technology that can provide renewable power to rural and remote communities. In order to increase the efficiency and competitiveness of small wind technology, it is necessary to maximize the wind energy capture and to prolong the turbine system life. Accordingly, this paper presents an integrated development framework that optimizes component design goals, including durability and minimal gearbox mass, with the control objective of producing maximum energy over the turbine system’s 20-yr life. This study focuses on the wind turbine gearbox, which plays a critical role in achieving high efficiency and extended system life. A variable ratio gearbox (VRG) previously developed by the authors is used as an example to demonstrate the methodology. In this paper, an algorithm developed for optimizing the VRG gear ratio is integrated with the design selection of commercially available gears, which will be used to construct the VRG gearbox. The proposed multi-objective framework is capable of identifying the optimal gearsets based on a trade-off between selecting gearsets that maximize wind turbine efficiency and choosing gearsets that best meet the design requirements.

Copyright © 2015 by ASME
Your Session has timed out. Please sign back in to continue.


Hernández-Escobedo, Q., Saldaña-Flores, R., Rodríguez-García, E. R., and Manzano-Agugliaro, F., 2014, “Wind Energy Resource in Northern Mexico,” Renewable Sustainable Energy Rev., 32, pp. 890–914. [CrossRef]
Goodfellow, D., 1986, “Variable Speed Operation of Wind Turbines,” Ph.D. dissertation, University of Leicester, Leicester, UK.
Muljadi, E., and Butterfield, C. P., 2001, “Pitch-Controlled Variable-Speed Wind Turbine Generation,” IEEE Trans. Ind. Appl.37(1), pp. 240–246. [CrossRef]
Johnson, K. E., Pao, L. Y., Balas, M. J., and Fingersh, L. J., 2006, “Control of Variable-Speed Wind Turbines: Standard and Adaptive Techniques for Maximizing Energy Capture,” IEEE Control Syst., 26(3), pp. 70–81. [CrossRef]
Bolinger, M., 2009, “2008 Wind Technologies Market Report,” Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory/Wind and Hydropower Technologies Program, Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy, U.S. Department of Energy, Berkeley, CA, Report No. TP-6A2-46026; DOE/GO-102009-2868.
USDOE, 2009, “Wind Powering America: Program Areas,” U.S. Department of Energy, Washington, DC, Report No. DOE/GO-102009-2556.
Hall, J. F., and Chen, D., 2013, “Dynamic Optimization of Drivetrain Gear Ratio to Maximize Wind Turbine Power Generation—Part 1: System Model and Control Framework,” ASME J. Dyn. Syst. Meas. Control, 135(1), p. 011016. [CrossRef]
Hall, J. F., and Chen, D., 2013, “Dynamic Optimization of Drivetrain Gear Ratio to Maximize Wind Turbine Power Generation, Part 2: Control Design,” ASME J. Dyn. Syst. Meas. Control, 135(1), p. 011017. [CrossRef]
Hall, J. F., Mecklenborg, C. A., Chen, D., and Pratap, S. B., 2011, “Wind Energy Conversion With a Variable-Ratio Gearbox: Design and Analysis,” Renewable Energy, 36(3), pp. 1075–1080. [CrossRef]
Shaltout, M. L., Hall, J. F., and Chen, D., 2014, “Optimal Control of a Wind Turbine With a Variable Ratio Gearbox for Maximum Energy Capture and Prolonged Gear Life,” ASME J. Solar Energy Eng., 136(3), p. 031007. [CrossRef]
Bhowmik, S., Spee, R., and Enslin, J. H., 1999, “Performance Optimization for Doubly Fed Wind Power Generation Systems,” IEEE Trans. Ind. Appl., 35(4), pp. 949–958. [CrossRef]
Koutroulis, E., and Kalaitzakis, K., 2006, “Design of a Maximum Power Tracking System for Wind-Energy-Conversion Applications,” IEEE Trans. Ind. Electron., 53(2), pp. 486–494. [CrossRef]
Le-peng, S., and Da-yong, H., 2010, “Variable Universe Fuzzy Control of Maximizing the Wind Engergy for a DFIG,” 3rd IEEE International Conference on Computer Science and Information Technology (ICCSIT), Chengdu, China, July 9–11, pp. 668–671. [CrossRef]
Evangelista, C., Puleston, P., and Valenciaga, F., 2010, “A Simple Robust Controller for Power Maximization of a Variable-Speed Wind Turbine,” Int. J. Energy Res., 34(10), pp. 924–932. [CrossRef]
Bratcu, A. I., Munteanu, I., and Ceanga, E., 2008, “Optimal Control of Wind Energy Conversion Systems: From Energy Optimization to Multi-Purpose Criteria—A Short Survey,” 16th Mediterranean Conference on Control and Automation, Ajaccio, France, June 25–27, pp. 759–766. [CrossRef]
Montoya, F. G., Manzano-Agugliaro, F., López-Márquez, S., Hernández-Escobedo, Q., and Gil, C., 2014, “Wind Turbine Selection for Wind Farm Layout Using Multi-Objective Evolutionary Algorithms,” Expert Syst. Appl., 41(15), pp. 6585–6595. [CrossRef]
Bossanyi, E., 2003, “Wind Turbine Control for Load Reduction,” Wind Energy, 6(3), pp. 229–244. [CrossRef]
Banos, R., Manzano-Agugliaro, F., Montoya, F., Gil, C., Alcayde, A., and Gómez, J., 2011, “Optimization Methods Applied to Renewable and Sustainable Energy: A Review,” Renewable Sustainable Energy Rev., 15(4), pp. 1753–1766. [CrossRef]
Hicks, R. M., and Henne, P. A., 1978, “Wing Design by Numerical Optimization,” J. Aircraft, 15(7), pp. 407–412. [CrossRef]
Joselin Herbert, G., Iniyan, S., Sreevalsan, E., and Rajapandian, S., 2007, “A Review of Wind Energy Technologies,” Renewable Sustainable Energy Rev., 11(6), pp. 1117–1145. [CrossRef]
Fuglsang, P., and Madsen, H., 1999, “Optimization Method for Wind Turbine Rotors,” J. Wind Eng. Ind. Aerodyn., 80(1), pp. 191–206. [CrossRef]
Negm, H. M., and Maalawi, K. Y., 2000, “Structural Design Optimization of Wind Turbine Towers,” Comput. Struct., 74(6), pp. 649–666. [CrossRef]
Prayoonrat, S., and Walton, D., 1988, “Practical Approach to Optimum Gear Train Design,” Comput.-Aided Des., 20(2), pp. 83–92. [CrossRef]
Aziz, E.-S. S., and Chassapis, C., 2005, “A Decision-Making Framework Model for Design and Manufacturing of Mechanical Transmission System Development,” Eng. Comput., 21(2), pp. 164–176. [CrossRef]
Santoso, S., and Le, H. T., 2007, “Fundamental Time–Domain Wind Turbine Models for Wind Power Studies,” Renewable Energy, 32(14), pp. 2436–2452. [CrossRef]
Ragheb, A., and Ragheb, M., 2010, “Wind Turbine Gearbox Technologies,” 1st International Nuclear & Renewable Energy Conference (INREC), Amman, Jordan, Mar. 21–24. [CrossRef]
Naunheimer, H., Bertsche, B., and Ryborz, J., 2011, Automotive Transmissions Fundamentals, Selection, Design and Application, Springer, Berlin.
Heisler, H., 2002, Advanced Vehicle Technology, Butterworth-Heinemann, Oxford, UK.
Erjavec, J., and Thompson, R., 2014, Automotive Technology: A Systems Approach, Cengage Learning, Boston.
Deb, K., and Jain, S., 2003, “Multi-Speed Gearbox Design Using Multi-Objective Evolutionary Algorithms,”ASME J. Mech. Des., 125(3), pp. 609–619. [CrossRef]
Marjanovic, N., Isailovic, B., Marjanovic, V., Milojevic, Z., Blagojevic, M., and Bojic, M., 2012, “A Practical Approach to the Optimization of Gear Trains With Spur Gears,” Mech. Mach. Theory, 53, pp. 1–16. [CrossRef]
Hsi Lin, H., Oswald, F. B., and Townsend, D. P., 1994, “Dynamic Loading of Spur Gears With Linear or Parabolic Tooth Profile Modifications,” Mech. Mach. Theory, 29(8), pp. 1115–1129. [CrossRef]
Shigley, J., 2004, Standard Handbook of Machine Design, McGraw-Hill, New York.
Radzevich, S. P., and Dudley, D. W., 1994, Handbook of Practical Gear Design, Technomic Publishing Co., Lancaster, PA.
Shigley, J. E., and Mischke, C. R., 1989, Mechanical Engineering Design, McGraw-Hill, New York.
Arikan, M., 2002, “Direct Calculation of AGMA Geometry Factor J by Making Use of Polynomial Equations,” Mech. Res. Commun., 29(4), pp. 257–268. [CrossRef]
Avallone, E. A., and Baumeister, T., 1996, Marks' Standard Handbook for Mechanical Engineers, McGraw-Hill, New York.
Burton, T., 2001, Wind Energy: Handbook, Wiley, Chichester, UK.
Birnbaum, Z. W., and Saunders, S. C., 1968, “A Probabilistic Interpretation of Miner's Rule,” SIAM J. Appl. Math., 16(3), pp. 637–652. [CrossRef]
NREL, 2011, “NREL: Wind Integration Datasets-Obtaining the Western Wind Dataset,” National Renewable Energy Laboratory, Golden, CO, http://www.nrel.gov/electricity/transmission/wind_integration_dataset.html
A. G. M. A., 1992, A Rational Procedure for the Preliminary Design of Minimum Volume Gears, American Gear Manufacturers Association, Alexandria, VA, Information Sheet No. AGMA 901-A92.
Belegundu, A. D., and Chandrupatla, T. R., 2011, Optimization Concepts and Applications in Engineering, Cambridge University, Press, Cambridge, UK.
Marler, R. T., and Arora, J. S., 2004, “Survey of Multi-Objective Optimization Methods for Engineering,” Struct. Multidiscip. Optim., 26(6), pp. 369–395. [CrossRef]


Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 1

Gear configuration of the six-speed VRG for a wind turbine

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 2

Typical trends for module three gearsets, showing the ratio (top left), total mass (top right), centerline mounting distance (bottom left), and ratio granularity (bottom right)

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 3

Endurance limit based on the ratio of applied to allowable loading [38]

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 4

Procedure for finding valid gearset combinations for a given set of wind sites

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 5

Mean energy loss and gearset mass data for combinations considered in the objective function for sites 1 through 18 (top) and sites 19 and 20 (bottom)




Some tools below are only available to our subscribers or users with an online account.

Related Content

Customize your page view by dragging and repositioning the boxes below.

Related Journal Articles
Related eBook Content
Topic Collections

Sorry! You do not have access to this content. For assistance or to subscribe, please contact us:

  • TELEPHONE: 1-800-843-2763 (Toll-free in the USA)
  • EMAIL: asmedigitalcollection@asme.org
Sign In