¨For Every Rule There’s An Exception.¨

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A lot has been done, but there’s still a long way to go before icing on wind turbines are under control, concludes meteorologist René Cattin in a new report.

On René Cattin’s to-do-list is better forecasts, more and better measurement data, new simulation models and more effective de-icing systems.

The report, Icing of Wind Turbines (Elforsk report 12:13), was released during Winterwind 2012 in Skellefteå today, concludes that there’s a much better awareness of the problem with icing in the industry today than just a few years ago.

– Still, ice is tricky; hard to predict, hard to stop and hard to get rid of, says René Cattin.René Cattin


There are some rule of thumbs about icing: it occurs from around minus 20 degrees Celsius to around zero, often when the air is humid. The degree and pace of icing is depending not only on temperature and humidity, but also on wind speed, clouds and the shape of the objects that the ice sticks to.

– For every rule there are exceptions that makes it very hard to predict icing, says Cattin.

To get better knowledge about icing he calls for the wind industry and researchers to develop better background data. Among the things he mentions are a wind turbine ice accretion model, improved cloud microphysics (MVD) and mechanical icing models for wind turbines.

– We need to get more and better measurement data and detailed case studies of icing events, says Cattin:

But research isn’t enough.

– There’s also a lack of anti-icing system which completely prevents ice accretion, de-icing systems which efficiently remove ice and efficient control system for de-icing systems.

To reach this point René Cattin advocate more field tests of anti-icing and de-icing systems.

– There’s a need for test centres, where you can test the turbines in cold climate and European collaboration, says Cattin.