Feasibility of Hydrostatic Transmission in Community Wind Turbines

Yingkun Sheng, Daniel Escobar-Naranjo, Kim A. Stelson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This study investigates the potential improvement of a community wind turbine through replacing the conventional drivetrain with a hydrostatic transmission (HST). Conventional wind turbines use a fixed-ratio gearbox, a variable-speed induction generator, and power electronics to match the grid frequency. Because of unsteady wind, the reliability of the gearbox has been a major issue. An HST, a continuously variable transmission with a high power density, can replace a conventional transmission. The resulting wind turbine has the potential to offer the advantages of a lower cost, decreased weight, and increased reliability. For the application considered in this study, the main source of LCOE increase is due to the inefficiencies in the system. Even if the cost of the proposed HST transmission is free, because of inefficiency, the levelized cost of electricity will be higher than for a turbine with a conventional fixed-ratio gearbox. For the HST solution to be cost-competitive, increases in efficiency and reductions in cost are required.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number426
Issue number11
StatePublished - Nov 2023
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2023 by the authors.


  • hydrostatic transmission
  • levelized cost of electricity
  • renewable energy
  • wind turbine


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