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An experimental study on the aerodynamic performance degradation of a wind turbine blade model induced by ice accretion process

Gao, Linyue, Liu, Yang, Zhou, Wenwu, Hu, Hui
Renewable energy 2019 v.133 pp. 663-675
air flow, blades, ice, models, renewable energy sources, wind turbines
An experimental study was conducted to characterize aerodynamic performance degradation of wind turbine blades induced by dynamic ice accretion process. The experimental study was performed in an Icing Research Tunnel with a turbine blade model under a typical glaze icing condition. Ice structures were found to accrete rapidly over both the upper and lower surfaces of the blade model after starting the ice accretion experiment. Irregular-shaped ice structures were found to disturb the airflow around the blade model greatly, resulting in large-scale flow separations and shedding of unsteady vortex structures from the ice accreting surface. The aerodynamic performance of the blade model was found to degrade significantly. The performance degradation induced by the ice accretion was found to be a strong function of the angle of attack of the blade model with more significant degradations at lower angles of attack. For the test case at the angle of attack of 5.0°, while the lift decreases to only ∼12% of its original value after 600 s of the ice accretion experiment, the drag was found to increase 4.5 times correspondingly. The detailed flow field measurements were correlated with the aerodynamic force data to elucidate the underlying physics.