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Access Type

Open Access

Document Type


Degree Program

Mechanical Engineering

Degree Type

Master of Science (M.S.)

Year Degree Awarded


Month Degree Awarded



Multi-Rotor, Wind Turbine, Design, Cost, Scaling, Analysis


The current generation wind turbines are upscaled into multi megawatt range in terms of output power. However, the energy benefit from the turbine is offset by the increased mass and cost. Twenty MW wind turbines are now feasible with rotor diameters up to 200 m, according to a new report from the EU-funded UpWind project in 2011. The question is, how much bigger can wind turbines get realistically? One concept worth considering, and the one that is the subject of this thesis, is to have more than one rotor on a single support structure. Such turbines could have a greater power to weight ratio. Multi-rotor systems also offer the advantage of standardization, transportation and ease of installation and maintenance.

In this thesis the NREL 5 MW single rotor baseline wind turbine is compared with a 5 MW multi-rotor wind turbine. The multiple rotors are downscaled using scaling curves keeping the 5 MW baseline machine as reference.


First Advisor

James F. Manwell

Second Advisor

Jon G. McGowan