Trends in the Evolution of Wind Turbine Generator Configurations and Systems

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Wind turbine design has evolved during the 20th century. Early turbine designs were driven by three basic philosophies for handling loads: 1) withstanding the loads; 2) shedding the loads; and 3) managing them mechancially, electrically, or both. Modern turbines evolved from these early designs and can be classified as two- or three-bladed. Key turbine design considerations today include windregime, cost, rotor type, generator type, load and noise minimisation, and control approach. Advanced configurations for the future include megawatt-scale turbines and lightweight turbine concepts. Theses new concepts will survive based on performance as market forces will continue to drive turbine configurations for years to come.
Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)70-85
Number of pages16
JournalWind Energy
StatePublished - 1998

NREL Publication Number

  • NREL/JA-500-26549


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