Wind turbine drivetrains: State-of-the-art technologies and future development trends

Amir R. Nejad*, Jonathan Keller, Yi Guo, Shawn Sheng, Henk Polinder, Simon Watson, Jianning Dong, Zian Qin, Amir Ebrahimi, More Authors

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

50 Citations (Scopus)
129 Downloads (Pure)


This paper presents the state-of-the-art technologies and development trends of wind turbine drivetrains – the system that converts kinetic energy of the wind to electrical energy – in different stages of their life cycle: design, manufacturing, installation, operation, lifetime extension, decommissioning and recycling. Offshore development and digitalization are also a focal point in this study. Drivetrain in this context includes the whole power conversion system: main bearing, shafts, gearbox, generator and power converter. The main aim of this article is to review the drivetrain technology development as well as to identify future challenges and research gaps. The main challenges in drivetrain research identified in this paper include drivetrain dynamic responses in large or floating turbines, aerodynamic and farm control effects, use of rare-earth material in generators, improving reliability through prognostics, and use of advances in digitalization. These challenges illustrate the multidisciplinary aspect of wind turbine drivetrains, which emphasizes the need for more interdisciplinary research and collaboration.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)387-411
JournalWind Energy Science
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2022


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