416 The Relationships Between Synoptic and Meso-Scale Weather Features and Wind Turbine Icing Events

Monday, 7 January 2013
Exhibit Hall 3 (Austin Convention Center)
Heath W. Corder, University of North Carolina at Charlotte, Charlotte, NC; and A. S. Adams

Wind power will undoubtedly continue to grow as an energy source through the 21st century. Wind energy is becoming a larger percentage of generation on electrical grids around the globe. During winter, ice accretion becomes a major threat to the reliability of wind power. Along with the added weight ice disrupts the airflow around wind turbine blades decreasing lift and thus slowing the turbine down and in some cases causing the turbines to stop. Being that the amount of electricity generated equals the cube of the wind speed even modest amounts of ice can have a noticeable effect on power output. Sometimes icing events can last multiple days until warmer temperatures melt the ice. Fifteen icing events were analyzed using past weather data that includes surface, upper air, satellite, sounding, and radar data provided by the National Climatic Data Center (NCDC) and the North American Regional Reanalysis dataset (NARR). Case studies were analyzed for similarities in the patterns/features before and during the time of icing. This presentation will discuss the results of the case studies, including model performance of these events, any anomalies in the conditions, and implications for improvement in forecasting techniques.
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