Can wind turbines operate in icy weather?
By WPED Contributor | March 1, 2021
By Sam Salem and Peter Nyegaard Jensen, Wind Cluster
The February 2021 freeze event in Texas attracted attention to wind turbine behavior in cold weather. Wind generation fell short of expected output but was not the main driver of the extensive power outages experienced across the state. Wind turbines have proved to generate power successfully in cold environments (many northern European countries get a significant portion of their electricity from wind power year-round) if the right preparations are made. And with many climate scientists expecting an increase in extreme weather events — including freezing temperatures — cold climate operation presents a niche market for wind turbine OEMs if they can keep blades spinning during winter.
The accumulation of ice on the surface of wind turbine blades may cause a harmful unbalance on the rotor, causing issues with production and structural design loads. Ice shedding from a blade can damage other blades, hit the roof of the nacelle or even cause hazardous situations for properties and passers-by.
A sensitive ice detection system will be the first step to provide an early warning. Looking at the weather, operational signals and using commercial ice detectors are a good starting point. There are many ways to detect ice formation: visual, mechanical, differential pressure, vibration, ultrasonic and optical. Modern ice detectors, like the ones by New Avionics Corp., are entirely optical. A tele-component light source and receiver monitor the opacity and refractive index of whatever substance is in contact with the detector probe. The optical ice detector works as a combined optical spectrometer and optical switch. A change in opacity registers as rime ice; a change in refractive index registers as clear ice. Modern ice sensors are generally lower in cost, lightweight and smaller in size. Relay contacts send a “go/no-go” or “ice/no-ice” signal to the host control system. They run on a DC power source of 8 to 30 V and need only 2 W of power to operate. Ice detection can be installed as a retrofit on the turbines in service.
In places like Texas, where wind-turbine icing is rare, stopping the turbine may be the cost-optimal solution. To minimize production loss due to icing, a combination of forecasting, detection and mitigation should be used. Better predictability also lets operators determine if and when to shut down wind farm operations altogether. There are instances when the sun can melt the ice. If models indicate severe icing probability, ice forming too thick or too fast, then stopping the wind turbines will be the action to take. In this case, forecasting plays a big role in mitigating outage risks.
In areas where icing may happen more often, it may be advisable to also consider ice-prevention measures. Ice prevention systems allow wind turbines to continue operating during winter months. There are a number of ice prevention systems that include passive systems such as ice-phobic or ice-resistant coatings, and active systems such as hot air or electro-thermal systems.
Ice detection and ice prevention technologies are improving, and their costs are going down. Energy production in the cold season with strong winds and high electricity prices is a big opportunity for wind turbines. But it requires better forecasting, early detection and risk mitigation.
Sam Salem is the regional manager of Wind Cluster for USA and Canada. Peter Nyegaard Jensen is the managing director of Wind Cluster ApS in Denmark.
This story uses information from previous original Windpower Engineering & Development and Wind Systems reporting, and Lasse Hietikko, Business Development Manager of Wicetec, was interviewed for source material.
Merry Christmas and happy New Year
A difficult year burdened by the global pandemic is coming to an end.
Such a year, it is certainly not a matter of course that the business develops as one wishes.
During a global pandemic, it would not be appropriate to state that it has been a good year.
However, discreetly I would just say, so far so good.
Humbly I appreciate the space on the wall that is adorned with Wind Clusters 2020 proof of AAA Highest creditworthiness.
Thank you to customers, suppliers, and partners for a fantastic coorporation under difficult conditions.
Merry Christmas and Happy New Year
Successful Spare Parts Strategy for Wind Turbines
After the wind turbine “infant mortality” lapse and OEM warranty period expire, the one shop-stop of Wind Cluster® offers access to more than 50.000 original wind turbine spare parts, repair materials, and accessories for all major wind turbine brands.
During the wind turbine “infant mortality period” and out through the first 2 – 5 years of asset operation, most asset owners and operators like to have OEM warranty and service contract. Once a sufficient operating history has been built up, the asset owners prefer to seek a more cost-
effective solution for the remainder of the wind turbine operational life given their newfound understanding of how to do service in a cost-effective ongoing manner. However, at the other end of an asset’s operational lifetime, there are wear-out failures due to the consumption of useful life for each component based on the operational history of the
machines. Maintenance, repair, and overhaul (MRO) activities are necessary to ensure safe and reliable
machine operation. Non-availability of spare parts could lead to machine downtime. Inventory costs, on
the other hand, need to be considered to attain economic machine operation. Spare parts strategy for old turbines will be different, somehow, from new turbines’ strategy. In some cases, parts for old turbine designs are not easy to find. Parts with long lead times entail high operation costs.
It’s important to know what parts of the wind turbine you need to focus on. Based on studies, the most
critical parts are the gears, which usually cause the longest downtime, the electric system, which has the
highest amount of failures, and the blades which have the highest purchase cost. Other critical parts are the control system and the sensors of the wind turbine, which both have a high amount of failures and a significant amount of the downtime and purchase cost.
The economic ordering quantity, or the optimal order size, is an important factor to minimize total
costs. If orders for multiple parts can be combined, this might save ordering costs and reduce the costs of
the total spare part management, even though the inventory has not reached the “reorder point” or the
previous parts review period has not yet ended.
Wind Cluster® offers a fast access to more than 50,000 original wind turbine spare parts, repair materials and accessories for all major wind turbine brands such as Vestas, NEG Micon, Enercon, Senvion, Suzlon and many more. We can assist with a fast, smooth and cost-efficient sourcing of spare parts. Send your request directly by e-mail and let Wind Cluster® make it easy to do wind business.
USA and Canada
Sam Salem – Regional Manager
Kesevan Ramesh – Country Mngr.
Peter Nyegaard Jensen – CEO / Mngr. Director Phone: +4570202256
Wind Cluster Opens a New Office in North America
Wind Cluster would like to welcome our new Team Member. Dr. Salem is our Regional General Manager for USA and Canada. Dr. Salem worked for GE Energy in Schenectady New York for the last 20 years. In his tenure years, Dr. Salem served as senior technical support manager, and condition-monitoring manager for GE Wind Services.
Dr. Salem brings a width of expertise in the areas of electrical power engineering, electrical machines, surge and lightning protection for wind facilities, monitoring and diagnostics strategies, and economic evaluation of refurbishment and replacement decisions.
Dr. Salem is an active senior member of the IEEE. Recently he was the guest speaker at the IEEE SPDC (Surge Protection Device Committee) meeting in May 2019 in Florida. He served as a member of the International Council on Large Electrical Systems (CIGRE) working group C4.36 on “Winter Lightning Parameters and Engineering Consequences for Wind Turbines”. Also, he led the CIGRE working group to write a guide on “Economic Evaluation of Refurbishment/Replacement Decisions on Generators”. Dr. Salem gave a series of talks on Wind Energy and Wind Generators at CIGRE meetings in Sydney, Paris and IEEE local Section in Schenectady NY. He received the IEEE PES Technical Committee Recognition Award in 2008 for his participation in rewriting IEEE Std. 67-2005 Guide for Operation and Maintenance of Turbine Generators. In 2003, he received the IEEE Power Engineering Society Outstanding Engineer Award. Dr. Salem is awarded 22 US patents and co-authored a number of technical papers.
Dr. Salem is a member of the AWEA-24 subcommittee and the AWEA Electrical Task Force. He will be attending the AWEA Offshore Wind Conference in Boston USA, on the 22nd and 23rd of this month, representing Wind Cluster.
Dr. Salem lives in Rexford NY with his 15 years old daughter.
Silkeborg, DENMARK & Vantaa, FINLAND, June 17th, 2019
Wind Cluster ApS, global distributor of wind turbine components and accessories, together with POWERNET OY (From July 1st EFORE POWERNET OY), leading maker of high quality power supplies for industry and in particular wind power, today announce the two companies have signed a distribution agreement covering power supplies for wind turbine manufacturers, operators, and energy companies throughout Europe, China, and India.
In Europe and Asia, Wind Cluster is a one-stop shopping center for turbine manufacturers and operators, offering a wide variety of components and accessories to the global wind power industry. Wind Cluster operate through a network and offices in Denmark, China and India.
POWERNET develops and delivers custom design and standard solutions for demanding power conversion applications from its base in Vantaa, Finland. Wind power applications call for the highest expertise in power supply development, with strict design requirements and industry-specific design standards, rules and regulations.
POWERNET has long experience of developing innovative approaches to meet customer expectations. POWERNET solutions rely on switch-mode design topologies “High quality and reliable power supplies is a necessity for wind turbines. With thousands and thousands of power supplies for wind turbines POWERNET has long proved to be the right choice for wind power OEM´s, cabinet manufacturer etc. POWERNET and Wind Cluster have had a long cooperation and we are happy to strengthen the cooperation further as official distributor of POWERNET Oy,“ says Peter Nyegaard Jensen, CEO of Wind Cluster.
“POWERNET OY is extremely pleased to sign this agreement with Wind Cluster for distribution of our power supplies. This pact helps turbine manufacturers and operators maximize operational efficiency, at the lowest possible Levelized Cost of Energy (LCoE),” says Jussi Vanhanen, VP Sales and Marketing of POWERNET OY. “We look forward to continue a long and productive relationship with the hardest-working distributor of wind power components and accessories.”
Since 1992 customers have found POWERNET to be a dependable and proactive partner that provides efficient and reliable power supplies and professional technical support.
POWERNET Develops, manufacture and holds pertinent intellectual property rights which are available under manufacturing license for application-specific products.
Silkeborg, DENMARK & Fort Lauderdale, FLORIDA, January 25th, 2019
Wind Cluster ApS, global distributor of wind turbine components and accessories, together with New Avionics Corp, leading maker of modern optical ice sensors for industry and aerospace, today announce the two companies have signed a distribution agreement covering modern ice sensors for wind turbine manufacturers, operators, and energy companies throughout Europe, China, and India.
In Europe and Asia, Wind Cluster is a one-stop shopping center for turbine manufacturers and operators, offering a wide variety of components and accessories to the global wind power industru. Wind Cluster operate through a network and offices in Denmark, China and India.
In Florida, New Avionics has developed the Ice*Meister™ line of NASA-tested optical ice sensors for aerospace and industry, where the need is to sense hazardous ICE and take corrective action. These are demonstrably the smallest, lightest, most-sensitive ice detectors for wind power turbines, unmanned aerial vehicles, commercial refrigerators and heat pumps, HVAC cooling towers, radio and TV broadcast towers, autonomous commercial DRONES, vehicular bridges and overpasses, oil and gas sites, etc.
“Ice detection is a necessity for optimum power production and safety in many countries. Till now solutions have been complex and expensive. Therefore, we are happy to introduce the products and unique expertise of New Avionics to the industry, “ says Peter Nyegard Jensen, CEO of Wind Cluster.
“New Avionics is extremely pleased to sign this agreement with Wind Cluster for distribution of our ice sensors. This pact helps turbine manufacturers and operators maximize operational efficiency during icing conditions, at the lowest possible sensor cost,” says Richard Hackmeister, CEO of New Avionics Corp. “We look forward to a long and productive relationship with the hardest-working distributor of wind power components and accessories.”
About New Avionics:
Founded in 1996, New Avionics Corporation is a privately held firm that develops, manufactures and markets NASA-tested optical ice and precipitation sensors for aerospace, industry and commercial refrigeration applications. New Avionics holds pertinent intellectual property rights which are available under manufacturing license for application-specific products.
At Wind Cluster, we take pride in running a sound business. Good business acumen is obviously fundamental to the company’s operations and we are valuing properties as integrity and ethics very high.
We strive in every way to run the company professionally.
Already at establishment of the company in October 2007 we applied for Danish protection of our brand and the name “WIND CLUSTER” . Later we applied for and received eg. European trademarks in October 2008.
Therefore, we find it extremely offensive that a German company has chosen to use and to parasite on our good name.
We are determined to protect and enforce our good name and hence we have initiated legal actions by German court.
We are happy to announce the cooperation between Wind Cluster and “THE QUEEN OF POWER” – and in particulay the queen in surge protection.
We are happy to announce the cooperation between Wind Cluster and the leading Italian manufacturer of Rotary Limit Switches as traditionaly used in yaw systems of wind turbines.
TER is an old friend of Wind Cluster and we are happy to continue the good relations now on exclusive distributor and agency terms in important wind turbine segment.
We are happy to announce the cooperation between Wind Cluster and the leading German manufacturer of a wide portefolio of Wind Sensors, Cup-anemometers, Wind Vanes and Ultrasoni Sensors.
We are happy to announce the cooperation between Wind Cluster and Indian based Elcomponics.
Elcomponics is a high quality manufacturer of Wiring Harness, Power Cable Assemblies, Wires & Cables, Transformers, Chokes and other wound components.
With experience from e.g. the automotive industry Elcomponics bring the standard of serial manufacturing in Wind Turbines at a higher level.
All products bear the stamp of quality workmanship and excellent finish and yet manufactured in India and very competitive.
Elcomponics supply OEM manufacturers to all the top players in the market with power ratings up to MVA at voltages to 25 kV and frequencies to 500 kHz. The wide range of standard and custom transformers and inductors are designed to meet the highest specifications and adhere to all the international standards.
We are happy to announce that Wind Cluster and ONLINE USV-Systeme AG have entered into a distributor agreement in the wind power segment.
ONLINE USV -Systeme AG was founded in 1988 and is a leading manufacturer of uninterruptible power supplies ( UPS).
Due to the high product quality ONLINE is globally recognized and valued.
With more than 650,000 ONLINE UPS sold ONLINE is the number one in Germany and one of the global market leaders in this field.
ONLINE have about 15 distribution partners and more than 3,500 dealers throughout Europe. Therefore, Wind Cluster is happy to be the exclusive distributor in the wind power segment.
We are happy to announce that Wind Cluster and Iskra Sistemi have entered into an exclusive distributor agreement in the wind power segment.
Iskra Sistemi is a global provider of industrial solutions and electrotechnical products. They are the largest Slovenian company in the fields of process automation, communications and security systems for power distribution, transmission, networking, powerline communications, railway and road traffic and software solutions in the field of energy sector and logistics and producer of power capacitors, DC link capacitors, capacitors for use in electronics, radio interference suppression components, switchgears, electrical measuring instruments, batteries, antennas, cores and potentiometers.
We are happy to announce that Wind Cluster and Jaquet Technology have entered into a Partnership Agreement.
The Partnership Agreement includes the sales of e.g. JAQUET Zero-speed-sensors in the global wind power segment. Also, the parties have entered a joint sales set-up of other Wind Cluster products in the greater Shanghai area from the offices of JAQUET in China.
We realise that being a market leader – now as well as in the future – requires not only world-class technology and top quality but also constant improvements in logistics, service, global presence and competitiveness in general.
We are comitted to offer the lowest possible electricity cost over the lifetime of your wind turbine.
We look forward to serving you!
Aahavevej 69 DK
Phone: +45 70202256