Community Research and Development Information Service - CORDIS


It is shown experimentally and by numerical simulations that icing of rotor blades or other components lead to decreased production due to ice accretion or safety demands. The icing effect is directly related to the climate of the site of the wind turbine, and varies strongly from region to region in Europe. Extreme low air temperature again arises new demands for design parameters. Icing of anemometers and other wind gauges typically lead to wrong estimation of wind power potential and operational problems of wind turbines.

The icing map over Europe, based on meteorological observations from 120 synoptic stations, show that icing and cold weather conditions occur in large regions in Europe, not only in the Nordic countries but also especially at mountainous regions in Northern Europe, Germany, UK, Alps, Spain and central Italy. On the other hand new megawatt turbines are high enough to encounter in-cloud icing even in lowlands. Following the method used to construct the European wind atlas, icing data is presented to show how it affects on-site wind power production.

Experimental data, wind tunnel simulations and numerical analyses were used to describe the ice formation on wind turbine blades, to produce the Cl, Cd values, to calculate the power curves for iced wind turbines, and to study the loads. Ice on blades usually decreases the power production. At harsh sites the annual power loss may be up to 20-50 %. The project also produced a preliminary method to combine the European Wind Atlas method, iced power curves and statistics of in-cloud icing to estimate annual or monthly losses due to icing at desired site.

For environmental safety icing is a significant design parameter. New theoretical study in ice throw from the rotating blades was verified to observations. As preliminary results it is recommended that for sites with high probability of icing (1) to keep distance 1.5 (hub height + rotor diameter) between the turbines and nearest objects, and

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