This article compares three reduced models with a detailed model of a doubly fed induction generator system for wind turbine applications. The comparisons are based on simulations only. The main idea is to provide reduced generator models which are appropriate to simulate normal wind turbine operation in aeroelastic wind turbine models, e.g. for control system design or structural design of the wind turbine. The electrical behaviour such as grid influence will therefore not be considered. The work presented in this article shows that with an ideal, undisturbed grid the dynamics of the doubly fed induction generator system is very well represented by the dynamics due to the generator inertia and the generator control system, whereas the electromagnetic characteristics of the generator can be represented by the steady state relations. The parameters for the proposed models are derived from parameters typically available from the generator data sheet and from the controller settings. Thus the models are simple to apply in any case where the generator data sheet is available. Copyright © 2005 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.