Forschungs- & Entwicklungsinformationsdienst der Gemeinschaft - CORDIS

Keeping wind turbines ice free

Ice formation on wind turbines can cause safety and operational problems. As wind turbines are a relatively new technology, this issue had not been considered greatly prior to this project. A group of European scientists collaborated to better understand the extent of these problems. Ice can impede the performance of anemometers, the control systems in turbines used to measure the rate of flow of the wind. This can mean that adjustments to the turbines may be incorrect and the turbine risks being damaged. To determine the extent of the problem, a survey on the effects of icing on the turbines' operation was carried out. The group studied and established aerodynamic coefficients for manufacturers and considered the effects of ice loads on turbine operation. Using this information, safety requirements were analysed and regulations developed.

There was an excellent response to the survey carried out which showed a genuine industrial concern about the problems this project addressed. A general knowledge of the extent of icing on wind turbines has been reached and a proposal for wind turbine standards on handling ice loads was given to the certification bodies and has been included in some national recommendations. This will help to ensure that safety is normalized across Europe. Some instrument enhancements have been achieved and a group of European scientists that is well connected to industry has been formed. The work has helped to ensure that industrial companies are prepared to manufacture wind turbines in cold climates. The group is better acquainted with the industrial needs of manufacturers and links between partners have been formed. Several instrument enhancements have been achieved as a result of the project. Without this project many manufacturers would have to study these effects independently across the industry. This would be more expensive and the results would not be shared as freely.

Reported by

Deutsches Windenergie-Institut
Ebertstrasse 96
26382 Wilhelmshaven
Germany
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