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WIREs Energy Environ.
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Overview of cold climate wind energy: challenges, solutions, and future needs

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Wind energy in cold climates offers vast wind energy potential. Cold climate, in this context, means icing conditions and/or low temperatures outside the normal operational limits of the wind turbines. Cold climate areas are often located in low population density surroundings. The combination of good wind resources and low population density makes such areas attractive for wind energy generation, but weather conditions hinder the exploitation of these resources. Many technical issues as well as health and safety related ones need to be addressed before wind energy projects can be economically feasible in cold climates. Icing of wind turbines reduces energy yield, reduces the mechanical life time of turbines, and poses safety risks in the form of ice throw, among other challenges. Progress to solve these challenges has been made in recent years, for example, anti‐ and de‐icing systems have been developed, but still more is to be done to reduce further the cost of wind energy in cold climates. WIREs Energy Environ 2016, 5:128–135. doi: 10.1002/wene.170 This article is categorized under: Wind Power > Climate and Environment
A wind turbine in Olos Fjell, in Finland, shutdown due to iced‐up rotor blades. (Reprinted with permission of VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland).
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Examples of wind turbine power curves for non‐iced wind turbine, and for four iced‐up cases: ‘start of icing’, ‘light icing’, ‘moderate icing’, and ‘heavy icing’ corresponding to 0,2, 3, 10 cm, and approximately 12 cm respectively, ice thickness on the leading edge of blade at radial position of 85% of rotor radius. (Reproduced from Ref with permission of VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland).
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