Development of a 5 MW Reference Gearbox for Offshore Wind Turbines

Yi Guo, Amir Nejad, Zhen Gao, Torgeir Moan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

79 Scopus Citations


This paper presents detailed descriptions, modeling parameters and technical data of a 5MW high-speed gearbox developed for the National Renewable Energy Laboratory offshore 5MW baseline wind turbine. The main aim of this paper is to support the concept studies and research for large offshore wind turbines by providing a baseline gearbox model with detailed modeling parameters. This baseline gearbox follows the most conventional design types of those used in wind turbines. It is based on the four-point supports: two main bearings and two torque arms. The gearbox consists of three stages: two planetary and one parallel stage gears. The gear ratios among the stages are calculated in a way to obtain the minimum gearbox weight. The gearbox components are designed and selected based on the offshore wind turbine design codes and validated by comparison to the data available from large offshore wind turbine prototypes. All parameters required to establish the dynamic model of the gearbox are then provided. Moreover, a maintenance map indicating components with high to low probability of failure is shown. The 5 MW reference gearbox can be used as a baseline for research on wind turbine gearboxes and comparison studies. It can also be employed in global analysis tools to represent a more realistic model of a gearbox in a coupled analysis.
Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)1089-1106
Number of pages18
JournalWind Energy
Issue number6
StatePublished - 2016

NREL Publication Number

  • NREL/JA-5000-63634


  • 5 MW reference gearbox
  • high-speed wind turbine gearbox
  • NREL
  • offshore wind turbines
  • wind turbine drivetrains


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