New icing-detection software launched

CANADA: AI software company Clir Renewables has launched a new programme to detect icing on turbine blades and measure its impact on performance.

The IEA estimated more than 200GW of wind capacity could be built in cold climates (pic: Skellefteå Kraft)

Its algorithm uses a probability analysis approach to flag deviations from historical, turbine-specific power curves based on site-specific climatic conditions and historical icing events.

These icing events are automatically flagged to the user along with losses related to the event, enabling them to make informed decisions.

The unnamed software is also capable of making recommendations for optimising the wind farm during icing, the Canadian company claimed.

Blade icing causes increased loads, reduced aerodynamics and health and safety concerns as accumulated ice falls from the turbine.

Rebecka Klintström, data scientist at Clir Renewables, said: "Significant losses are often experienced at wind farms in cold climates due to the impact of icing, but it is possible to regain some of this when there is a better understanding of the situation."

Normal Scada (supervisory control and data acquisition) data analysis is often insufficient in quantifying losses from icing, Clir claimed.

Ordinarily, such methods would be inadequate in helping owners collecting enough information to make the investment case for icing mitigation systems, the software company explained.

The International Energy Agency (IEA) estimated the global market potential for wind farms in cold and icing climates is more than 200GW.

Clir Renewables’ software launch is the latest of several efforts to better understand, prepare for, or prevent icing.

Earlier this year, certification body DNV GL and Swedish atmospheric scientists WeatherTech launched a collaboration on a new icing model to better predict the performance of wind turbines in cold climates.

The Research Institute of Sweden (RISE) signed an agreement for a new cold-climate test centre for wind turbines.

And manufacturer Vestas unveiled an electrothermal anti-ice system running along the length of a turbine’s blade to prevent ice build-up in cold-climate markets.