Community Research and Development Information Service - CORDIS


DEICE-UT — Result In Brief

Project ID: 605138
Funded under: FP7-SME
Country: United Kingdom
Domain: Industry

Innovative system removes ice from wind turbine rotor blades

The world's northern and remote regions are perfect locations for wind energy however in these regions wind turbine performances are affected by the accumulation of ice on the blades. An EU-funded project came up with an innovative solution combining ultrasound and low-frequency waves for anti-icing and de-icing turbine blades, thereby minimising downtime during adverse conditions.
Innovative system removes ice from wind turbine rotor blades
Active solutions for turbine blade include de-icing such thin-foil of electrical resistors or circulation of hot-air within the blade, Pulse Electro-thermal De-Icing or Electro Expulsive Separation System are power inefficient or not available on the market. Instead, manufacturers are currently working on blade de-icing solutions with very low power consumption. From previous work on helicopter blades results prove that low-frequency vibrations are highly effective at preventing icing, except for the leading edges.

Based on these results, researchers in the EU-funded project DEICE-UT (Wind turbine blade Anti / De-icing, combined Ultrasonic guided wave and vibration system) envisaged to overcome the limitations relating to the Anti-icing/De-icing of wind turbine blades by integrating two technologies which use low cost components that require relatively low energy and have the potential to achieve both anti-icing and de-icing at temperatures down to -20°C. The two technologies are Low frequency Vibration to remove ice accreted on plane surfaces and Guided Wave Ultrasonic to remove accumulated ice from the leading edges. The low temperature pulse-receiver and shaker power control unit were successfully integrated into one system designated by DEICE-UT system.

To demonstrate the newly developed technology and the performance of the system a campaign of tests were carried out at MIRA in an environmental testing chamber. For this purpose two types of test pieces were prepared: a section of a full-scale wind turbine blade (to validate the low frequency vibrations) and a small-scale mock-up (to validate the leading edge ultrasonic waves). During this test campaign the researchers had the opportunity to successfully check the performance of the system for different types of ice formation, confirming the effectiveness of these two technologies and the capabilities of the DEICE-UT system.

DEICE-UT's system increases reliability and energy yield of wind turbines in cold climate zones, while simultaneously reducing the possibility of shutting them down during icy weather. This in turn increases blade lifespan and minimises revenue losses.

Related information


Wind turbine; anti-icing; de-icing; ultrasonic guided waves; low frequency vibration
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