Leading-edge erosion at wind turbine blades cause a loss in profit for wind farm owners, in particular offshore. The characterization of the rain erosion environmental load at wind turbine blades is based on the long-term rain rate and wind speed observations at 10-minute resolutions at coastal stations around the North Sea, Baltic Sea, and inland. It is assumed that an IEA Wind 15 MW turbine is installed at each station. The leading-edge lifetime is found to increase from the South to the North along the German and Danish North Sea coastline from 1.4 to 2.8 years. In the Danish and German Baltic Sea, the lifetime in the West is shorter (similar to 2 years) than further East (similar to 3 to 4 years). It is recommended to use a time series of 10 years or longer because shorter time series most likely will cause an overestimation of the lifetime. The loss in profit due to leading-edge erosion can potentially be reduced by similar to 70% using the erosion-safe mode, i.e., reduce the tip speed during heavy rain events, to reduce blade erosion, aerodynamic loss, repair costs, and downtime during repair. The aerodynamic loss for the 18 stations is on average 0.46% of the annual energy production.
- Wind turbine blade
- Erosion-safe mode