Design of Direct-driven Permanent-magnet Generators for Wind Turbines

University dissertation from Chalmers University of Technology

Abstract: This thesis presents an investigation of how a direct-driven wind turbine generator should be designed and how small and efficient such a generator will be. Advantages and disadvantages of various types of direct-driven wind turbine generators are discussed, and a radial-flux permanent-magnet generator connected to a forced-commutated rectifier is chosen for a detailed theoretical investigation. Further, a design method is developed for the electromagnetic part of the chosen generator type. The generator is optimized with a simplified cost function which, besides including the cost of the active generator parts and the cost of the structure, also includes the cost of the average losses. Therefore, a method to calculate the average losses is derived. The design method is used to investigate the optimization of a 500 kW generator, and the size, efficiency and active weight of optimized generators from 30 kW to 3 MW are presented. A result of the investigation is that the outer diameters of the direct-driven generators are only slightly larger than the width of conventional wind energy converter nacelles. A comparison of average efficiency shows that direct-driven generators, including the losses in the frequency converters, are more efficient than conventional wind energy converter drive trains. Compared with other direct-driven generators, the proposed generator type is small, mainly because of the forced-commutated rectifier and because the generator is not required to produce a pull-out torque higher than the rated torque.