New project to develop a PRecipitation atlas for Offshore Wind blade Erosion Support (PROWESS)
The life of wind turbine blades is currently greatly shortened by leading-edge erosion. The erosion is mainly caused by precipitation. However, the speed and severity of the erosion depends on the type of precipitation, for example hail or rain. As a result of the erosion, the blades become less aerodynamic, reducing the efficiency of the turbine.
Damage to the blades from leading edge erosion can lead to a reduction in Annual Energy Production of 1 to 5%. Severe damage in the form of delamination and pitting into the composite material also affects the structural integrity of the blade, resulting in major expensive repairs or even blade replacement. Erosion can be partly prevented or postponed by applying the right wind turbine control strategy. This allows the speed of the blades to be adapted to the precipitation at that time.
It is therefore very important to have good and detailed information about the precipitation. This allows future owners to better estimate the costs and revenues of a wind farm and it provides the wind farm operators with the right information to use an effective control strategy.
The new GROW project PROWESS aims to develop a new detailed publicly available precipitation atlas for the Dutch part of the North Sea. The dataset will provide a reliable source of information that can be used by multiple players in the wind industry, such as equipment manufacturers, wind farm owners and operators, blade manufacturers and coating developers. The project will also result in an improved model to identify the optimal leading-edge coating system. Furthermore, a model will become available to assess the operational and maintenance costs and the loss in annual electricity production due to the occurrence of leading-edge erosion.
Find out more about the project PROWESS.