Wind turbine technology battles: Gearbox versus direct drive - opening up the black box of technology characteristics

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Abstract

This paper studies the battle between two types of wind turbines, the gearbox wind turbine and the direct drive wind turbine. Applicable determinants that affect technological dominance for the wind turbine drive trains case are identified. By applying the Best-Worst Method, the relative importance to the determinants to understand which of the two wind turbine drive train types has the highest chance of achieving success are allocated. The results show that energy cost and reliability are the most important determinants, and that at this moment both drive train types still have the potential to become dominant. A contribution is made to the literature on dominant designs by focusing on the energy sector; a sector that has only scarcely been studied before with respect to design dominance. Furthermore, weights for factors for the technology dominance for the case of technology battles for wind turbine technology were established.

Original languageEnglish
Article number119933
JournalTechnological Forecasting and Social Change
Volume153
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2020

Keywords

  • Direct drive
  • Dominant designs, Best-worst method
  • Gearbox
  • Standards
  • Wind turbine

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