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Wind Energy Science The interactive open-access journal of the European Academy of Wind Energy
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https://doi.org/10.5194/wes-2020-11
© Author(s) 2020. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.
https://doi.org/10.5194/wes-2020-11
© Author(s) 2020. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Submitted as: research article 12 Feb 2020

Submitted as: research article | 12 Feb 2020

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This preprint is currently under review for the journal WES.

Characterisation of the Offshore Precipitation Environment to Help Combat Leading Edge Erosion of Wind Turbine Blades

Robbie Herring1, Kirsten Dyer1, Paul Howkins1, and Carwyn Ward2 Robbie Herring et al.
  • 1Offshore Renewable Energy Catapult, Offshore House, Albert Street, Blyth, NE24 1LZ, UK
  • 2Department of Aerospace Engineering, Queen's Building, University of Bristol, Bristol, BS8 1TR, UK

Abstract. Greater blade lengths and higher tip speeds, coupled with a harsh environment, has caused blade leading edge erosion to develop into a significant problem for the offshore wind industry. Current protection systems do not last the lifetime of the turbine and require regular replacement. It is important to understand the characteristics of the offshore environment to model and predict leading edge erosion. The offshore precipitation environment has been characterised using up to date measuring techniques. Heavy and violent rain was rare and is unlikely to be the sole driver of leading edge erosion. The dataset was compared to the most widely used droplet size distribution. It was found that this distribution did not fit the offshore data and that any lifetime predictions made using it are likely to be inaccurate. A general offshore droplet size distribution has been presented that can be used to improve lifetime predictions and reduce lost power production and unexpected turbine downtime.

Robbie Herring et al.

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Status: open (until 25 Mar 2020)
Status: open (until 25 Mar 2020)
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Robbie Herring et al.

Robbie Herring et al.

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Short summary
Leading edge erosion has developed into a significant problem for the offshore wind industry. It is important to understand the offshore precipitation environment to model and predict the onset of erosion and to design systems to protect against it. In this study, the offshore environment has been characterised using up to date measuring techniques. A general offshore droplet size distribution has been presented that can be used to improve lifetime prediction techniques.
Leading edge erosion has developed into a significant problem for the offshore wind industry. It...
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