Performance and Cost Projections for Advanced Wind Turbines

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaper


This paper identifies two possible wind turbine system architectures that represent the next generation of horizontal axis designs, targeted for the mid-1990s. Estimates of the effects of projected design refinements on energy capture and cost are used to calculate cost-of-energy (COE) estimates. Two basic design philosophies are presented: the first represents a system using power electronics toallow variable speed operation and the second represents an optimized stall-controlled rotor. Both concepts take; advantage of recent technological innovations including advanced airfoils; innovative control strategies; drive-train improvements; and site-dependent system optimization strategies, such as tall towers for sites with strong vertical wind shears. Our investigation indicates thatthese design improvements will increase energy capture about 40% to 50% with a corresponding negligible impact on cost, when compared with current state-of-the-art wind systems. These performance improvements result in COE estimates ranging; between $0.03 and $0.06/kWh for the mid-1990s for sites with annual average hub-height wind speeds from 8.5 mps to 6.8 mps.
Original languageAmerican English
Number of pages9
StatePublished - 1990
EventAmerican Society of Mechanical Engineers Winter Annual Meeting - Dallas, Texas
Duration: 25 Nov 199025 Nov 1990


ConferenceAmerican Society of Mechanical Engineers Winter Annual Meeting
CityDallas, Texas

Bibliographical note

Prepared for the American Society of Mechanical Engineers Winter Annual Meeting, Dallas, Texas, 25 November 1990

NREL Publication Number

  • NREL/TP-257-3795


  • cost-of-energy
  • horizontal-axis
  • power electronics
  • stall-controlled rotor
  • wind turbines


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