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How Ice Accretion Affects Wind Turbines

For the wind energy industry a 'cold climate' site refers to a location that might experience significant periods of time or frequency of icing events or low temperatures outside the operational limits of standard wind turbines. In recent years many countries in Europe, Asia and North America have had to develop wind farms in cold climate regions. The main reasons for this choice are good wind energy resources in high altitudes (e.g. Switzerland with sites at 800 metres above sea level), and the higher installation and O&M costs for offshore when compared with land-based wind farms. This new development has brought some new challenges for designers, manufacturers and operators. One of these challenges is icing of the wind turbine blades and its effects on the aerodynamics and responses of the wind turbine. This article addresses ice accretion on the blade and its effects on the aerodynamic properties of the rotor.

By Mahmoud Etemaddar, PhD candidate, Institute of Marine Technology, NTNU, Norway

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