A Unique Solution to Generating
Electricity from the Wind

The WinDrive Technology

With the WinDrive Technology, you employ the wind to generate electricity reliably and in a distinctive way. The heart of the WinDrive technology is a variable-speed hydrodynamic gearbox. The WinDrive paves the way to generating grid-friendly electricity through proven direct-coupled synchronous generators. There are no failure prone power conversion electronics in the wind turbine (converter-less).

Two main components of the WinDrive are the technique behind how it functions: a planetary gear combined with a hydrodynamic torque converter. The planetary gear is designed as a superposition gear. The WinDrive converts the wind turbine rotor's speed into a constant speed for the generator.

The WinDrive Technology reduces the capital investment and operating costs of the wind turbine. At the same time, the energy yield increases. The costs per kilowatt hour generated drop (Cost of Energy, CoE).


Voith Turbo GmbH & Co. KG
Variable Speed Drives (aev)
Voithstr. 1
74564 Crailsheim, Germany

Tel. +49 7951 32-261
Fax +49 7951 32-650

Service, Spare Parts, Repair
Tel:   +49 7951 32-1666
Fax:  +49 7951 32-903

Service Helpline (24/7)
Tel: +49 7951 32-1666

Technical Data

Power range 2 – 20 MW
Input speeds variable
Output speeds constant;
1.500 rpm at 50Hz line frequency or
1.800 rpm at 60Hz line frequency

Zur Großansicht
Driveline of a wind turbine with WinDrive, power range 2 to 20 MW

Advantages and Benefits

  • The WinDrive dampens dynamic loads that occur in the driveline under un­favor­able circumstances. By reducing dynamic loads, you extend the lifetime of the main gearbox and other components of the driveline by up to 12%.
  • Hydrodynamic power transmission in the WinDrive is wear-free and based on the same principle as aerodynamic power transmission. The WinDrive has a long lifetime – longer than the lifetime of the wind turbine itself.
  • The wind turbine has no failure prone power conversion electronics. The mean-time-between-failures (MTBF) of all WinDrive units in operation is 25 years (as of May 2012). This lowers the fault rate by up to 19%. Without sensitive power con­ver­sion electronics, your wind turbine is suitable for almost all locations with normal or special requirements – and this without the need for additional equipment.
  • A standard synchronous generator coupled directly to the grid produces grid-friendly electricity. Your wind turbine satisfies all current and future grid codes – without incurring additional expenditures. With the WinDrive installed, nothing stands in the way of coupling your wind-powered generating plant to weak or isolated grids.

Typical Applications

  • Power and speed control in drivelines of wind turbines

Technical Information

Two main components of the WinDrive are the technology behind how it functions: a planetary gear combined with a hydrodynamic torque converter.

Basic design of the WinDrive

  • The WinDrive is placed in the drive­line of the wind turbine between the main gearbox and the generator.
  • The planetary gear consists of the sun gear, the planet gears and the ring gear. The planet gears are mounted on the rotating planet carrier.
  • The torque converter consists of three main components: pump wheel, turbine wheel and adjustable guide vanes. A sealed housing filled with hydraulic fluid holds these com­pon­ents.
  • The pump wheel is connected to the output shaft of the WinDrive. The tur­bine wheel is connected to the ring gear of the planetary gear.

Basic design of the WinDrive

  • The wind rotor drives the rotating planet carrier via the main gearbox. The planet gears drive the sun gear.
  • The sun gear drives the generator and the pump wheel of the torque converter via the output shaft.
  • The pump wheel accelerates the hydraulic operating fluid, which in turn drives the turbine wheel. The op­er­ating fluid flows back into the pump wheel through the adjustable guide vanes.
  • Power transmission in the torque con­verter is wear-free. The position of the guide vanes determines the amount of power transmitted.
  • The WinDrive transmits the major portion of the power directly from the wind rotor to the generator. The torque converter diverts only a small fraction of the overall power. This diverted power is fed back to the planetary gear through the ring gear.
  • The planetary gear combines the power from the wind rotor with the adjustable power fed back through the ring gear to then drive the sun gear at a constant speed. The gen­er­ator speed is therefore, also held constant.



Operating costs were a constant consideration during the entire development process of the WinDrive. Maximum availability in conjunction with the lowest maintenance and repair expenditures is our objective.

Do you have questions about service?

The engineers and technicians of Voith's worldwide service network are there for you. We maintain sales and service facilities in all regions of the world.

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A Unique Solution to Generating Electricity from the Wind. WinDrive Technology

A Unique Solution to Generating Electricity from the Wind. WinDrive Technology

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Voith WinDrive for Large Converterless Wind Turbines

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