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Torsional dampers are employed in wind turbines to damp vibrations in the drive-train. The conventional design is based on band-pass filters (BPF); however, its effectiveness can be compromised due to parametric uncertainty. To restore the performance of the damper, it is a common practice to re-tune it during the commissioning of wind turbines. To overcome this shortcoming, a model-based torsional damper was designed and its performance compared to the conventional approach when subjected to model uncertainty. A stability analysis was conducted and simulations were performed in Simulink. A real-time hardware-in-the-loop experiment was carried out, with experimental and simulation results showing good agreement. The proposed model-based torsional vibration damper showed a superior performance over the conventional BPF-based approach. Results also showed that the model-based damper can eliminate the need for retuning procedures associated with BPF-based designs.