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Wind turbine having a direct-drive drivetrain

United States Patent

October 7, 2008
View the Complete Patent at the US Patent & Trademark Office
National Renewable Energy Laboratory - Visit the NREL Technology Transfer Website
A wind turbine (100) comprising an electrical generator (108) that includes a rotor assembly (112). A wind rotor (104) that includes a wind rotor hub (124) is directly coupled to the rotor assembly via a simplified connection. The wind rotor and generator rotor assembly are rotatably mounted on a central spindle (160) via a bearing assembly (180). The wind rotor hub includes an opening (244) having a diameter larger than the outside diameter of the central spindle adjacent the bearing assembly so as to allow access to the bearing assembly from a cavity (380) inside the wind rotor hub. The spindle is attached to a turret (140) supported by a tower (136). Each of the spindle, turret and tower has an interior cavity (172, 176, 368) that permits personnel to traverse therethrough to the cavity of the wind rotor hub. The wind turbine further includes a frictional braking system (276) for slowing, stopping or keeping stopped the rotation of the wind rotor and rotor assembly.
Bevington; Christopher M. (Waitsfield, VT), Bywaters; Garrett L. (Waitsfield, VT), Coleman; Clint C. (Warren, VT), Costin; Daniel P. (Chelsea, VT), Danforth; William L. (Rochester, VT), Lynch; Jonathan A. (St. Johnsbury, VT), Rolland; Robert H. (Waitsfield, VT)
Northern Power Systems Inc. (Waitsfield, VT)
10/ 858,551
June 1, 2004
GOVERNMENT LICENSE RIGHTS The U.S. Government has a paid-up license in this invention and the right in limited circumstances to require the patent owner to license others on reasonable terms as provided for by the terms of Subcontract YCX-1-30209-02 awarded by the National Renewable Energy Laboratory.