Variable speed operation enables wind turbine systems to increase their aerodynamic efficiency and reduce fatigue loads. An alternative to the current electrically based variable speed technologies is the continuously variable transmission (CVT). A CVT is a transmission whose gear ratio can be adjusted to take on an infinite number of settings within the range between its upper and lower limits. CVT research in wind turbine applications predicts an improvement in output power and torque loads compared with fixed-speed machines. Also, a reduction in the harmonic content of the currents is anticipated by eliminating the power electronics. This paper develops a model that combines a CVT model with the FAST wind turbine simulator for simulating the system’s performance in MATLAB/SIMULINK. This model is useful for control development for a variable-speed wind turbine using a CVT. The wind turbine with CVT is simulated using two controllers: a proportional-integral controller and a nonlinear torque controller of the type commonly used in the wind industry.

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