Helicopters a new weapon against ice
Glaciated rotor blades are the scourge of wind turbines in cold climates, as the ice can bring the blades to a stop.
A helicopter company in Constance has developed a solution – featuring a helicopter, of course. They use a helicopter to spray hot water, which quickly melts ice from the blades.
It takes us about 1.5 hours to deice wind turbines, says CEO Mats Widgren.
The water is heated overnight using a truck equipped with a 260 kW oil burner. Come morning, the helicopter can start shuttling the water to the icy wind turbine.
The method has been tested in temperatures down to minus 20 degrees without problems, according to Widgren.
The operation requires three people: A helicopter pilot, an operator to control the sprayer, and a person at the truck to rapidly refill the empty tank.
The cost to deice a turbine is equivalent to two days of electricity.
As an alternative, some turbines have an electric heating foil on the rotor blades to prevent ice growth.
Thanks to Bill Sellers for this link