Modelling production losses due to icing

Production losses are caused by ice accumulated on wind turbine rotor blades, which degrades the aerodynamic properties of blades. On rotating wind turbine ice builds up mostly on the leading edge of the blades and the effects of ice depend on the amount and the shape of ice. The effect of ice on wind turbine power production was assessed in Finnish Icing Atlas as following:

  1. Three different ice formations on wind turbine blades were created using numerical icing simulation
  2. Aerodynamic properties of the iced wind turbine blades, created in step 1, were analysed with computational fluid dynamic (CFD) analysis
  3. Power curves of iced wind turbines were simulated using wind energy specific multibodydynamic (MBS) software and the aerodynamics of iced blades, from step 2, as input
  4. The power curves of iced wind turbine, from step 3, were linked to time dependent weather conditions resulting similar ice formations as were created in step 1
Production losses were estimated for WinWinD WWD-3 wind turbine with 90 meter rotor which is the same type used in the Finnish Wind Atlas production estimation. WWD-3 is variable speed pitch controlled 3 MW wind turbine. The turbine was modelled using turbine manufacturer's power curve and general blade geometry.