The Relationships Between Meteorological Weather Features and Wind Turbine Icing Events

- Indicates paper has been withdrawn from meeting
- Indicates an Award Winner
Monday, 3 February 2014
Hall C3 (The Georgia World Congress Center )
Heath W. Corder, Univ. of North Carolina, Charlotte, NC; and A. S. Adams

Abstract: 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, snow and ice accretion becomes a major threat to the reliability of wind power. Along with the added weight, snow and 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 is proportional to the cube of the wind speed even modest amounts of ice can have a noticeable impact on power output. Sometimes icing events can last multiple days until warmer temperatures melt the ice. Eighteen 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. Case studies were analyzed for similarities in the patterns/features at six hour intervals leading to and three hour intervals during the time of icing. Quantitative analyses were performed on meteorological features present within a 500 kilometer radius of the location of the wind farm. This presentation will discuss the results of individual case studies as well as the broader composite features between all of the cases. Implications for improvements in forecasting (if any) are discussed including possible development of a location specific forecast criteria.