Variable-Speed Generation Subsystem Using the Doubly-Fed Generator: Period of Performance -- 9 February 1994 - 30 April 1999

Research output: NRELSubcontract Report


Over the past decade, fixed-speed, utility-scale wind turbines have technically advanced to a point where they can economically complete against nuclear and fossil-fuel-based power plants in geographical areas with a sufficient wind resource. The objective of this subcontract was to compare various electrical topologies allowing variable-speed turbine operation, identify the most suitable for a275-kW (or larger) utility-scale wind turbine, and then design, build, lab test, and field test this variable-speed generation subsystem based on the previously identified optimum approach. Preliminary tests of the controls for a doubly fed variable-speed generation system rated at 750 kW were performed on a wind turbine. A 275-kW VSGS was thoroughly tested in the laboratory and on a windturbine. Using field-oriented control, excellent dynamic behavior of the drive train was demonstrated, acoustic tests revealed an 11 dB reduction in turbine noise in low-wind, low-RPM operation compared to fixed-speed operation. The overall efficiency of the electrical system suffered from inadequate efficiency of the power converter at low power. Consequently, a different converter topology hasbeen proposed that will satisfy both efficiency and power quality requirements for future use. This report provides information on all aspects of the project, including events that were unanticipated at the outset. A great deal of information is available in the references, comprised of NREL reports, journal articles, and conference papers on specific project results.
Original languageAmerican English
Number of pages137
StatePublished - 2000

Bibliographical note

Work performed by Electronic Power Conditioning Incorporated, Salem, Oregon

NREL Publication Number

  • NREL/SR-500-27066


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