Analysis of derating and anti-icing strategies for wind turbines in cold climates

D.B. Stoyanov, J.D. Nixon*, H. Sarlak

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review

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    Wind turbines located in cold climates suffer from reduced power generation due to ice accretion. This paper presents a novel method for comparing and evaluating two emerging ice mitigation strategies: tip-speed ratio derating and electrothermal anti-icing. The method used takes into account accumulated ice mass, net energy losses both during and after an icing event, and financial breakeven points; it is demonstrated for the assessment of the NREL 5 MW reference wind turbine during different icing events. Our results show how derating can be preferred over electrothermal anti-icing and how this changes for different wind speeds, icing conditions, ambient temperatures, and system costs. For a 1-hour extreme icing event, it is expected that derating will reduce accumulated ice mass and daily power loss by up to 23% and 37%, respectively. Anti-icing was identified to be the preferred strategy when there were 42 in-cloud icing event occurrences per year, ambient temperatures were above −5 °C, and the system cost was no higher than 2% of the turbine’s capital cost. This research demonstrates to wind turbine operators how different strategies can be selected to improve performance during icing conditions.
    Original languageEnglish
    Article number116610
    JournalApplied Energy
    Number of pages11
    Publication statusPublished - 2021


    • Wind energy
    • Wind power
    • Icing events
    • Cold climates
    • Tip-speed ratio (TSR)
    • Ice accretion


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