According to the BTM World Market Update 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. VDS has been developed to detect and efficiently remove ice formed on wind turbine blades, maintaining full power production – and therefore revenue generation for customers – through the winter months.
“The VDS is an active de-icing solution consisting of an ice detection system and a hot air flow unit within the blades. The hot air flow targets the blade’s most critical parts to efficiently melt ice build-up, with no negative impact on the noise level or overall performance of the turbine,” explains Chief Technology Officer Anders Vedel.
“VDS will provide significant value to customers who want to harness the potential of wind power in colder climates with icing risk such as North America as well as the northern and central regions in Europe, which were previously not economically feasible due to the risk of ice affecting power production,” he says.
Vestas has successfully tested a concept de-icing solution in Canada for the past winter season. The first prototype for the VDS 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 components to be installed 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 is designed to de-ice the outer profile of the blade focusing on the tip end to ensure maximum efficiency of regaining power production after ice build up occurs.
The VDS is fully integrated with Vestas’ control systems and can be tailored to the customer’s de-icing strategy. The system can be triggered automatically or manually, ensuring customers have full monitoring control of the system. VDS is available for the V112-3.3MW as well as the V117-3.3MW subject to demand.
Every single day, Vestas wind turbines deliver clean energy that supports the global fight against climate change. Wind power from Vestas’ almost 50,000 wind turbines currently reduces carbon emissions by over 60 million tons of CO2 every year, while at the same time building energy security and independence.
Today, Vestas has delivered wind energy in 73 countries, providing jobs for around 17,000 passionate people at our service and project sites, research facilities, factories and offices all over the world. With 62 per cent more megawatts installed than our closest competitor and more than 57 GW of cumulative installed capacity worldwide, Vestas is the world leader in wind energy.