Current and Future Trends in Wind Turbine Technology

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Totaro & Associates has published a new study of the patent landscape of utility grade, horizontal axis wind turbines. We looked at 1461 patents in the US and provided a component and technology keyword classification, assessment of industry relevance as well as look at future technology trends in this space.

The results indicate that ~2% of the patents have been asserted or licensed or there is a high probability that they would be asserted in the near term given the similarity of OEM technology, about 6% cover technology which has yet to mature, but is likely to play a role in the future and the remaining 92% are largely irrelevant or only serve defensive purposes. The largest majority of inventions are directed towards controls and sensors, blades, electrical as well as generators. The necessity to improve component reliability and efficiency, as well as optimize turbine performance have been the driving forces behind those trends.

It also appears as though future technologies will be directed towards component weight / cost reduction, component transportation and assembly, fleet management, grid integration, as well as further turbine and wind farm performance optimizations.

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