Danish-based wind turbine blade manufacturer LM Glasfiber has formed a partnership with the Canadian research institutions Centre Corus and Ion Beam Laboratory LAFI, to develop a solution to the problems caused by ice formation on the blades and panelling of wind turbines operating in harsh climatic conditions. LM Glasfiber is providing the funding as well as the blades and panels for the research tests.
Apart from the dangers to life and limb posed by chunks of ice falling from a considerable height, ice formation on wind turbines can cause a range of problems such as loss of aerodynamic efficiency, vibration, mechanical stress and component fatigue, which can all add up to significant production losses.
The research will involve the development of an anti-icing treatment process based on ion implantation and UV irradiation. Jesper Månsson, research manager at LM Glasfiber, comments that there is considerable potential in adapting wind turbines to cold climate conditions in order to extend the lifetime of installations and wind turbines. Over the next five years, the Canadian wind turbine market is expected to generate orders worth in excess of DKK 60 bn (CAD 11.3 bn).
LM Glasfiber says that the blade surface treatment technique will not be included in its blade manufacturing process, but applied as an additional finishing operation for blades destined for use in cold climates. The news was reported by financial daily newspaper Børsen.
LM Glasfiber is the world’s leading supplier of blades for wind turbines, and the only supplier that operates on a global basis. The company has manufactured more than 86,000 blades since 1978. LM Glasfiber is headquartered in Lunderskov, Jutland, and employs more than 4,000 people.