An open source ice model running in WRF

Activity: Talks and presentationsConference presentations


In cold climates, icing of the turbine blades can be a major issue when designing a wind farm. Ice growth on turbine blades can lead to production losses and increased noise, with the potential for ice throw causing risks to nearby persons and property. Turbine manufacturers have developed ice prevention systems to help reduce these factors, but there is still an open question of when to purchase such systems, and for what turbines. Additionally, ice forecasts combined with careful management of turbines can reduce the impact of icing in affected areas.

IceBlade aims to fill this gap by estimating the amount of icing that a turbine will experience at pad level, in terms of icing-related production loss, using meteorological modeling. The iceBlade model represents the turbine airfoil as a static cylinder, and accounts for both ice accretion and ice ablation. It has been used and validated in previous studies (Davis et al. 2014, Davis et al. 2016).

The source code of iceBlade incoorperated in the mesoscale model WRF is now released on DTU’s gitlab server. Accompanying that release, for the first time a case study comparison with measurements was performed. The measurements were made in the project ICE CONTROL (2016-2019) conducted by the Zentralanstalt fuer Meteorologie und Geodynamik (ZAMG), the University of Vienna, VERBUND Green Power GmbH, and Meteotest AB, whom kindly provided the data. The measurements have been published graphically in Strauss et al. (2020). In our presentation, the verification results for this case study will be shown.

To investigate its performance and potential impact, we also undertake a comparison between icing prediction from iceBlade with predictions using combined temperature and humidity according to the emerging IEC uncertainty standard. To do so we use simulations for Northern Scandinavia from the New European Wind Atlas (NEWA, Preliminary results of this comparison, and relevant statistics, will be presented.

Neil Davis, Andrea N. Hahmann, Niels-Erik Clausen, and Mark Žagar. Forecast of icing events at a wind farm in Sweden. Journal of Applied Meteorology and Climatology, 53(2):262 – 281, 01 Feb. 2014. doi:10.1175/JAMC-D-13-09.1.
Neil N. Davis, Pierre Pinson, Andrea N. Hahmann, Niels-Erik Clausen, and Mark Žagar. Identifying and characterizing the impact of turbine icing on wind farm power generation. Wind Energy, 19(8):1503–1518, 2016. doi:
Lukas Strauss, Stefano Serafin, and Manfred Dorninger. Skill and potential economic value of forecasts of ice accretion on wind turbines. Journal of Applied Meteorology and Climatology, 59(11):1845 – 1864, 2020. URL:, doi:10.1175/JAMC-D-20-0025.1
Period21 Apr 2022
Event titleWinterwind - International Wind Energy Conference
Event typeConference
Conference number14
LocationSkellefteå, Sweden