WindSmart’s Hydraulic Drive Train System for Wind Turbines
WindSmart has been operating in the wind energy industry since 2008 with the goal of improving the energy efficiency and overall functioning of current day wind turbines. With the assistance of four ingenious engineers, the company developed and patented a hydraulic drive train system for wind turbines. This advanced system was created to replace the gearbox and electronic variable speed systems in wind turbines with a high torque hydraulic motor reversed as a hydraulic pump driven by the wind turbine rotor and a high-speed hydraulic motor driving the wind turbine generator.
WindSmart has currently completed development and validation for two wind turbine power systems, which include the Low (20 – 100 kW) speed wind turbine system and the Medium (100 – 700 kW) speed wind turbine system. Both the Low and Medium speed wind turbine power systems operate in extreme climatic conditions as low as -30 degrees Celsius. In addition, both power systems are readily available for OEM installation, including retrofit as well as new construction.
Higher frequency perturbations, such as those caused by “rotational sampling of turbulences,” have been identified as a possible major cause of failures and ‘ripple’ in the power generation of wind turbines. The patented WindSmart hydraulic drive train system for wind turbine power systems have excellent damping characteristics and allow for longer period (gusts) and higher frequency (turbulence) wind fluctuations with lower torque fluctuations at the generator, as demonstrated in the drive train test facility. Most importantly, replacing existing constant speed wind turbine systems with the WindSmart hydraulic drive train system will enable such wind turbines to run in a variable speed mode resulting in increased aerodynamic efficiency and therefore in an increase in energy capture from the wind.