Autonomous ice protection combining guided ultrasonic waves and electrothermal systems
Offshore wind is considered a key sector for meeting national and international targets with respect to sustainability, energy security, and low electricity prices. As offshore wind costs are decreasing and existing technical difficulties are overcome, the majority of new installations in the UK and abroad are expected to be located in Northern areas where wind resources are abundant but climates are cold and icing conditions are common. Ice protection is essential for the operation of wind turbines operating in cold climates. Ice accretion on the blades of turbines can significantly increase operational costs, lower energy output, and decrease turbine lifetime. This project will develop WIN-D-ICE, a new system which provides automatic ice protection by combining existing state-ofthe-art anti- and de- icing technologies. The system will achieve maximum performance at minimum costs and energy use by using sensors to detect ice on the blades and specialised software to automatically control system operation. WIN-D-ICE will act as a catalyst enabling further growth of offshore to achieve national and international commitments and targets with respect to renewables, energy costs, and energy security for the benefit of us all.
The objective of this project is to develop a prototype ice protection system that remains effective over a wide range of environmental and operational conditions and enables turbines to operate seamlessly in a cost-effective and energy efficient manner.
WIN-D-ICE achieves maximum protection at minimum energy cost, improves energy generation efficiency by up to 50%, and significantly reduces the cost of energy from offshore wind.
This project was co-funded by the UK’s innovation agency, Innovate UK.