Analysis and research results: icing, O&M and climate change

Winterwind, the biggest event dedicated to wind power in cold climates, took place from February 3 to 5 in Åre, Sweden.

As an expert in the field, our colleague Charles Godreau represented Canada on “Task 19”, the International Energy Agency’s (AIE) working group on this important topic. In addition to sitting on the event’s programming committee, Charles delivered three presentation on topics of interest for operators of facilities installed in cold climates.

Ice Protection System: Performance and Experiences

Ice protection systems represent one of the options available on the market to deal with ice accretion on turbine blades. But how do they perform? Following a review of literature of 11 studies published on the subject between 2011 and 2019, Nergica’s team drew the following conclusion: no standard assessment method exists in the industry to compare the performance of different de-icing systems.

An online survey (non-probabilistic) carried out by Task 19 provided insight into the opinions of industry players with regard to ice protection systems. About 20 respondents from nine different countries were surveyed. Of these, 42% indicated that the performance of these systems did not meet their expectations, notably due to their inconsistent performance.

According to the respondents, the following elements should be prioritized by manufacturers of ice protection systems to improve their performance:

  • Reliability and durability;
  • Earlier detection of ice;
  • Improved control;
  • More powerful systems; and
  • Lower purchase and installation costs.

In order to meet the needs of the industry, Task 19 is prioritizing these issues for 2020. The guidelines for ice protection system performance guarantees will be updated in the next few months. This tool will allow the industry to better define performance assessments and to narrow the gap between the expectations of wind farm operators and the performance observed in ice protection systems. Nergica will be actively participating in this effort.

Highlights of CanWEA Operations and Maintenance Summit 2020

At the request of Winterwind organizers interested in operation and maintenance (O&M) practices in Canada, Charles Godreau presented the highlights of CanWEA’s O&M Summit held last January in Toronto.

In this context, Charles presented a comparison of O&M approaches between Europe and Canada, mainly with respect to worker health and safety, cybersecurity, innovation and human resource management.

 How might climate change affect wind farm repowering?

Charles presented the preliminary results of a study that evaluates the impact of climate change on wind power, which is being carried out by Nergica in collaboration with Ouranos and Hydro-Québec. Initial results suggest a decrease in icing in those regions where wind turbines are installed. For further information and documents related to this study, click here.

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