Variation of leading-edge-erosion relevant precipitation parameters with location and weather type

Anna-Maria Tilg*, Martin Hagen, Flemming Vejen, Charlotte Bay Hasager

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review

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    Precipitation is a key driver of leading-edge erosion of wind turbine blades, which leads to a loss in annual energy production and high cost for repair of wind turbines. Precipitation type, drop size and their frequency are relevant parameters, but not easily available. Reflectivity-Rain Rate (Z‑R) relationships as well as annual sums of rainfall amount and rainfall kinetic energy potentially could be used to estimate leading-edge erosion. Although Z‑R relationships and amounts are known for several places, their spatial variation and dependence on weather types is unknown in the North Sea and Baltic Sea area. We analysed time series of multiple disdrometers located on the coast of the North Sea and Baltic Sea to characterize the variation and weather-type dependence of the Z‑R relationship, precipitation type, rainfall amount and kinetic energy.The Z‑R relationship as indication for the mean drop-size distribution showed small variations within different locations, but had a large variability for specific, but rare weather types. Only the precipitation types snow and hail showed some tendencies of weather-type dependence. Rainfall amount and rainfall kinetic energy were higher for stations in the eastern part of the North Sea compared to the western part and the Baltic Sea. Highest values were related to advection from the West. Overall, variations with location and weather type were found. These results will need to be considered in leading-edge erosion modelling and site assessment.
    Original languageEnglish
    JournalMeteorologische Zeitschrift
    Issue number3
    Pages (from-to)251-269
    Number of pages19
    Publication statusPublished - 2021


    • Z-R relationship
    • Rainfall kinetic energy
    • North sea
    • Baltic sea
    • Wind energy


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