New Model Quantifies The Risk Of Ice Strike

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Everything at Winterwind 2013 isn’t about preventing ice. Some presentations are about the challenges that follow when ice do occur. Gail Hutton from RES will hold a presentation about RES’ research on ice throw modelling.
– It is important to note that we are not simulating the conditions that cause icing or the probability of ice formation on the turbine blades, only what is most likely to happen if ice has formed and fragments of ice detach, says Gail Hutton.

The ability to map and quantify the risk of ice strike around a wind turbine deriving from ice throw is critical to understand the safety of a wind farm. RES has developed an ice throw model which can be used to inform planning, design aspects of the wind farm itself, and turbine shutdown strategy.

What kind of infrastructural challenges due to ice strikes are you trying to minimize the risk of? And is it possible?
– There are a number of different ways of using what we learn from the ice throw model. First of all is the public safety perspective – for example, looking at the proximity of roads to turbines, and whether there is any overlap between these and the risk contours from ice throw, and, if so, how much. It can also be used to assess the risk to overhead power lines or to installations such as viewing platforms of being struck by ice.

Risk Migration And Management

How accurate is this model, can you plan in advance how to build a wind farm in order to avoid damage from ice throw?
– As with any model this is an approximation and it will always be difficult to assess accuracy in the context of the least likely events, i.e. when ice is thrown farthest. We have, however, developed the ice throw simulation taking into account research from across the wind industry. We have been conservative in some assumptions not to underestimate risk. The benefit of having a model is in the ability to quantify risk as accurate as possible and then mitigate or manage it as appropriate. For example it could be used to inform layout decisions or shutdown strategy if damage is considered likely.

And how do you do the validation?
– So far the model has been tested in-house only, in the sense of checking the code and the outputs. However as it is a theoretical model it would be interesting to compare it to observational data. We are hoping to be able to do on-site validation at one of our wind farms in the future. One of the useful outcomes from the Havsnäs cold climate research program has been in highlighting areas of future research and this is one of these. The work with the ice throw model was partly funded by the Swedish Energy Agency under the Havsnäs Pilot Project.

So, who is Gail Hutton? Her title is Dr Gail Hutton, Senior Statistical Analyst.
She has been working for RES around 2,5 years, currently in the technical team at RES in their Glasgow office.
– My background is in statistics and I have found that there are many interesting applications of this to renewable energy, says Gail Hutton. Prior to this she worked in safety analysis for air traffic control where she was involved in safety analysis for air traffic. It’s her first time at Winterwind and she is looking forward to it.

What do you expect from the conference?
– I look forward to broaden my knowledge of others’ research on wind energy in cold climates, and seeing how my own work fits with that.

Why should people come to your presentation?
– If they are interested in learning more about the direction of RES’ research into ice throw modelling and the use we have found for it so far then they should come along.

Meet Gail At Winterwind

Gail Hutton is one of the authors participating on the workshop on health and safety, February 13, 08.30-10.00.
Read the abstract “The Applications of Ice Throw Modelling to Risk Assessment and Planning in Cold Climates”RES is the parent company of Nordisk Vindkraft and the project is part of a pilot project financed by the Swedish Energy Agency. The other two parts of the project will be presented during the conference by Iain Campbell and Alan Derrick in the session “Standards and Certifications”. Read the abstracts The Havsnäs pilot project – cold climate and high hub heights and Remote sensing devices in cold climates.

About The Presenter

Dr Gail Hutton is a Senior Statistical Analyst at RES. Her work focusses on applying statistical procedures, models and simulation techniques to technical challenges related to the renewable energy industry. She has previously worked in aviation as a safety analyst, specialising in the measurement and modelling of risk. She has a PhD in Statistics, developing stochastic process theory and its application to financial markets. Gail is both a Chartered Statistician and a Chartered Scientist.