Optional anti-icing of rotor blades in cold climate

Funding: German Federal Ministry for Economics Affairs and Energy (BMWi)
Partners: AkzoNobel, DLR, ForWind/Uni Oldenburg, Kraiburg, Senvion
Duration: 01/2018 - 06/2021

Icing on wind turbines can cause severe loss of earnings for operators. The coating of rotor blades with anti-icing surfaces is a good option to reduce the risk of ice accretion and the cost of heating significantly. The partners of the project OptAn-Ice will improve the usage of anti-icing techniques on wind turbines blades for developers and operators.

In order to reach this aim, it has to be proven that coatings are able to keep the properties that evocate anti-icing stable over a long period and that they can withstand harsh erosion conditions on operating wind turbines.

Furthermore, a method for the numerical calculation of icing shall be developed and validated to support the efficient usage of coatings. Numerical simulations of ice accretion on wind turbines will be compared and validated with measuring results from Fraunhofer IWES´ erosion test stand. Thus, simulations tools will be applicable also for load simulation.

Fraunhofer IWES contributes by validating the ice accretion solvent for CFD simulations by experimental testing at its erosion/icing test stand. For this purpose, it will be modified for testing icing characteristics of blade coatings in a reliable way. For this purpose, it is a precondition that the thermal properties of the specimen are determined, since they need to be undercooled reliably throughout the whole icing process. After refitting the erosion test stand, testing series with several coatings developed by the project partners will be carried out. Moreover, icing at a certain turbine type is planned to be simulated.