Experimental Validation of a Hydrostatic Transmission for Community Wind Turbines

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Hydrostatic transmissions are commonly used in heavy-duty equipment for their design flexibility and superior power density. Compared to a conventional wind turbine transmission, a hydrostatic transmission (HST) is a lighter, more reliable, cheaper, continuously variable alternative for a wind turbine. In this paper, for the first time, a validated dynamical model and controlled experiment have been used to analyze the performance of a hydrostatic transmission with a fixeddisplacement pump and a variable-displacement motor for community wind turbines. From the dynamics of the HST, a pressure control strategy is designed to maximize the power capture. A hardware-in-the-loop simulation is developed to experimentally validate the performance and efficiency of the HST drive train control in a 60 kW virtual wind turbine environment. The HST turbine is extensively evaluated under steady and time-varying wind on a state-of-the-art power regenerative hydrostatic dynamometer. The proposed controller tracks the optimal tip-speed ratio to maximize power capture.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number376
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1 2022

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Funding: National Science Foundation (NSF) grant #1634396.

Funding Information:
National Science Foundation (NSF) grant #1634396.We are thankful to other graduate students in our lab for helping us in setting up the experiments. We also thank Eaton, Linde, Danfoss, Bosch Rexroth, Flo-tech, and ExxonMobil for donating the components for the dynamometer.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2022 by the authors. Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland.


  • Dynamics and control
  • Hardware-in-the-loop
  • Hydrostatic transmission
  • Maximum power point tracking
  • Wind turbine


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