Power System Architecture

Finding the Best Solution for a 5MW Wind Turbine

Rain Byars, EWEA Offshore Wind Conference, November 2011


This paper focuses on two main components of the power system assessment. First, the choice of generator type is examined, with focus on the two most popular and available generator types for wind turbines: Doubly Fed (DFIG) and Permanent Magnet (PMG). Second, the system voltage is assessed, to identify the optimum configuration for a balance between all design requirements.

Real Time Loads Measured with Fiber Optical Sensors Embedded in Rotor Blades

Rain Byars co-author, AWEA Windpower Conference, June 2006



Multi Variable Turbine Controls (MVTC) presents the potential for significant improvements in cost, performance and reliability for future WTGs benefiting both the onshore and offshore markets. The use of MVTC requires a stable and cost effective measurement input from load sensors during operation of WTG. In addition to the performance requirements, the system must be reliable for the lifetime of the turbine, cost effective for volume deployment, and the system must not interfere or degrade the turbines’ components or operation in any way.

What is the Best Generator Type for a 5MW Wind Turbine?

A Comparison of Doubly Fed and Permanent Magnet Generators for Wind Turbines

Rain Byars, AWEA Offshore Wind Conference, October 2011


For a multi-megawatt offshore wind turbine, a permanent magnet generator is a clear choice for optimizing all factors affecting the cost of energy of the installed turbine. The advantages include increased power capture and high system reliability. Medium voltage power system configuration presents many technical advantages such as 
lower weight and increased efficiency, however uncertainty regarding lifetime costs and reliability are considered prohibitive in the context of this study.

​Active Wind Turbine Control

Utilizing Masurments from Fibre Optical Load Sensors to Adjust Individual Blade Angle

Integrated into an Electromechanical Pitch System

Rain Byars co-author, DEWEK, 2006


Individual blade pitch control utilizing rotor load feedback presents the potential for significant improvements in cost, performance and reliability for future WTGs benefiting both the onshore and offshore markets. This type of control requires a stable and cost effective measurement input from load sensors during operation of WTG. 

Structural Monitoring System for Offshore Wind Turbine Foundation Structures

Rain Byars co-author, European Wind Energy Conference, February 2006



Fibre optical sensors (FOS) are useful for a variety of turbine control and protection functions. Online load measurements of offshore wind turbine foundations throughout the turbine lifetime allow structural load monitoring and residual life time estimation. Based on the data the overall system performance can be optimised, and in the event of failure the data can be used for a meaningful root cause analysis.

Published Papers and Articles

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The Gaia Ultra-Large Wind Turbine

​How to Build Tomorrow's 12MW Wind Turbine With Components Available Today

William Miller and Rain Byars, WindTech International, July 2012


The 5 to 7MW range turbine is the upper end of what you can achieve by enlarging megawatt-scale architecture, but it is an awkward size range. The weights are high, the installation equipment is not commonly available and the cost of energy is not on a par with 1 to 3MW onshore installations. The question is how can we upscale beyond this awkward limit, and bring costs back down? The Nextwind Gaia architecture overcomes the barriers to upsizing existing wind turbine technologies, and aims to make possible large-scale offshore wind plants which will beat the initial cost, and cost of energy, of land-based wind farms.

Production Integration of Fiber Optical Sensors in New Rotor Blades

For Real Time Loads Feedback

Rain Byars co-author, European Wind Energy Conference, 2007


In this paper we present an FOS load measurement system that meets these requirements and has been successfully demonstrated to fulfill the acceptance criteria for advanced control inputs. Fiber Optical Sensors (FOS) have been tested successfully in composite blades on wind turbine generators (WTG), showing their capability to perform under both laboratory and field conditions.