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Ice accretion on wind turbine blades

Faculty of Science, Engineering and Computing

About the Project

The abundant wind resource in cold and high altitude regions in the world is attractive for the increasing demand for renewable wind power production. However, these regions are also characterized by frequent atmospheric icing events, which can significantly reduce the annual power production of the wind farm. Ice that accretes on turbine blades degrades their aerodynamic performance and reduces their power output. A loss of more than 12% of the potential annual wind power production is anticipated as a result of icing events.
Extensive studies have been conducted on ice accretion on aircraft wings and anti-icing and de-icing systems are widely used to alleviate or avoid icing phenomenon. However, the ice accretion on wind turbine blades hasn’t been thoroughly investigated in terms of the different atmospheric and meteorological icing conditions.
Recently, CFD technologies have been proved to be a powerful tool that can increase the economic viability of a wind farm. CFD simulations can be used to predict the impact of atmospheric icing on wind turbines operating in cold climates. Data from measurement campaigns at potential wind farm sites can be utilized to enrich the numerical simulation in predicting the impact of local icing events on the power output of the planned wind farm and provide a more realistic assessment of the return on investment. Furthermore, results from CFD simulation can increase the wind farm operators’ understanding of upcoming weather events and mitigate their impact on energy production.
Therefore, in this study, CFD technologies will be employed to investigate the ice accretion on wind turbine blades. Specifically, the commercial ice code FENSAP-ICE (ANSYS) incorporating ANSYS-Fluent will be used to predict the ice accretion and melting process on wind turbine blades for all three ice types – rime ice, glaze ice and mixed ice, particularly, the effect of rime ice porosity on ice accretion will be considered. Furthermore, a systematic parametric study of different influential factors on ice accretion on blades will be conducted; and then the consequent degraded aerodynamic performance in real wind turbine operation will be assessed. Finally, the effective and reliable anti-icing and de-icing methods will be proposed, and will be evaluated and tested in iced wind tunnel experiments.

Funding Notes

No funding is available - only self-funded applications can be considered

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