Ice on wind turbine blades reduces performance

Did you know that ice on wind turbine blades reduces performance

Published 22 November 2023



Wind turbines installed in cold climate regions and frequent winter weather conditions are likely to experience icing on blades. Wind turbine blades suffering from ice are subject to reduced power production and aerodynamic conditions as the accumulation of ice on the blades will negatively harm the airflow over the blades.

Understanding the issue

Ice accumulation disrupts the smooth airflow over the blades, leading to decreased power generation. Additionally, the added weight causes mechanical load increase on components, affecting overall reliability.

Where does this typically happen?

Areas subject to freezing temperatures, snow, and sleet are more likely to experience icing on wind turbines. Northern regions, such as parts of Europe, North America, and Asia, where winter conditions are prevalent, often face challenges related to icing on wind turbines. Additionally, high-altitude locations and offshore wind farms can also experience icing.

Mitigating the issue

There are multiple ways to mitigate this issue of reduced performance. If wind turbines are suffering from light ice/frost on its blades Vortex Generators can be applied to recover lost energy from ice/frost harming the airflow on the blade.

👉 Read more about VGs here.