Wind energy in cold climates (encompassing both low temperatures and icing climates) is expanding rapidly with an amazing 12 GW/year rate  equivalent of 4,000 large 3MW wind turbines. This large market has some special challenges especially regarding atmospheric icing conditions leading to ice accretion for wind turbines and low temperature effects on components. These markets are located all around the world and as an example please see this free online icing and low temperature map for more details. Ice accretion on turbine blades may cause severe production losses up to 20% of annual energy production, increase turbine mechanical loading and sound emissions from blades as well as increasing of ice throw hazards.
VTT has been coordinating an international expert group called IEA Wind Task 19 “Wind Energy in Cold Climates” since 2002 with the mission to enable large scale deployment of cold climate wind power in a safe and economically feasible manner. The purpose of this expert group is to gather and provide information about wind energy in cold climates, including project development, operation and maintenance (O&M), health, safety and environment (HSE), operational experiences, and recent research. The current Task 19 working period is January 2016 to December 2018. For more information, please go to: https://www.ieawind.org/task_19.html
Task 19 has recently published two very important documents:
- Available technologies – report (May 2016)
- Recommended Practices – report (February 2017)
The Available Technologies – report ed1 summarizes all key technologies available for cold climate wind energy applications ranging from listing available icing maps to icing weather models, ice detectors, turbines equipped with ice protection system (de- and anti-icing), ice throw assessment, operation and maintenance, standards and testing. This is the quickest way to find a solution to your icing or low temperature challenge in just a few minutes.
The Recommended Practices – report ed2 is basically an international pre-standard summarizing all best practices from numerous experts for development and operation of wind farms in cold climates. By reading this report, you will lower your risks and uncertainties substantially when developing or operating turbines in cold climate conditions.
Next in 2017–2018, Task 19 will focus on among others:
- developing international ice throw guidelines
- development of turbine ice protection system (anti- and de-icing systems) performance evaluation guidelines
- and continue working with cold climate aspects for international standard IEC 61400-15 ed1 “Site energy yield assessment”
Stay tuned on Task 19 website for more!
Senior Scientist, Wind power
Operating Agent of IEA Task 19: Wind Energy in Cold Climates
Mobile: +358 50 370 7669