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Method and apparatus for wind turbine air gap control

United States Patent

February 20, 2007
View the Complete Patent at the US Patent & Trademark Office
National Renewable Energy Laboratory - Visit the NREL Technology Transfer Website
Methods and apparatus for assembling a wind turbine generator are provided. The wind turbine generator includes a core and a plurality of stator windings circumferentially spaced about a generator longitudinal axis, a rotor rotatable about the generator longitudinal axis wherein the rotor includes a plurality of magnetic elements coupled to a radially outer periphery of the rotor such that an airgap is defined between the stator windings and the magnetic elements and the plurality of magnetic elements including a radially inner periphery having a first diameter. The wind turbine generator also includes a bearing including a first member in rotatable engagement with a radially inner second member, the first member including a radially outer periphery, a diameter of the radially outer periphery of the first member being substantially equal to the first diameter, the rotor coupled to the stator through the bearing such that a substantially uniform airgap is maintained.
Grant; James Jonathan (Niskayuna, NY), Bagepalli; Bharat Sampathkumaran (Niskayuna, NY), Jansen; Patrick Lee (Scotia, NY), DiMascio; Paul Stephen (Greer, SC), Gadre; Aniruddha Dattatraya (Rexford, NY), Qu; Ronghai (Clifton Park, NY)
General Electric Company (Schenectady, NY)
11/ 031,259
January 7, 2005
STATEMENT REGARDING FEDERALLY SPONSORED RESEARCH & DEVELOPMENT The government of the United States of America has certain rights in this invention pursuant to NREL Subcontract No. NREL-ZAM-4-31235-05, Prime Contract No. DE-AC36-99GO10337 awarded by the U.S. Department of Energy.