According to the BTM World Market Update report from 2012, severe icing can potentially reduce wind turbines’ annual energy production by more than 20%, directly impacting the business case for wind power plants in cold climates. The Vestas Design-icing System (VDS) has been developed to detect and efficiently remove ice formed on wind-turbine blades, letting turbines maintain full power production and revenue generation for customers through the winter months.
“The VDS is an active de-icing system consisting of an ice-detection system and a hot air flow unit within the blades. The hot air targets the blade’s most critical parts to efficiently melt ice build-up, without negative impact on the noise level or overall turbine performance,” explains Chief Technology Officer Anders Vedel.
“VDS will provide significant value to those who want to harness the potential of wind power in colder climates with icing risk, locations such as North America as well as the northern and central regions in Europe, areas previously not economically feasible due to the risk of ice affecting power production,” he says.
Vestas has successfully tested a concept de-icing in Canada for the past winter season. The first VDS prototype has been installed at a site in Sweden and will be tested throughout the winter. An order has already been received for the first four VDS units, to be installed on a V112-3.3 MW project in Austria in 2014.
Easily serviceable from within the hub and inside the blade, the VDS does not require electrical installing components in the blade’s leading edge. While enhancing the system’s robustness, it also keeps the system at low risk from lightning damage.
The VDS can de-ice the outer profile of the blade focusing on the tip end to ensure maximum efficiency of regaining power production after ice buildup occurs.
The system is fully integrated with Vestas’ control systems and can be tailored to a client’s de-icing strategy. The system can trigger automatically or manually, ensuring full monitoring control of the system. VDS is available for the V112-3.3 MW and the V117-3.3 MW turbines.