An optimum control approach for a wind turbine drivetrain with a variable ratio gearbox is presented. The objective is to find the optimum shifting sequence of the variable ratio gearbox in order to maximize power generation and extend gear life. The employment of a variable ratio gearbox enhances the capabilities of the wind turbine to cope with wind speed variations. Based on our preliminary study, the gear ratios of the variable ratio gearbox were carefully selected to increase the wind energy capture. We then propose a new control approach to extend the gear service life. It finds the gear shifting sequence that will minimize the tangential force on the gear tooth. The wind turbine drivetrain with a variable ratio gearbox is modeled and simulation results for two sets of recorded wind data are presented and compared.

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