# De-icing the wind turbines in Texas

• hagopbul
In summary, Frezzing of wind farms in Texas caused loss of energy. There are ways to prevent this from happening.
hagopbul
Summary:: how we can de ice the turbine in case of sudden frezzing like what happened in texas

hello all :

i was watching the news and saw the news talking about frezzing of wind farms in texas state , and losing about 35% of the energy due to that problem

can we use the following methods to de ice the turbine

1 - due to the fact that the turbine is metallic can't we use SAR radar on millimeter rang (300 mhz to 300ghz ) on spacing with the turbine that made stationary wave set up ?
f = (n*v)/2L
f = 300exp06 to 300exp09 hz, n = or >1 , v = 3exp08 m/sec
L = ?
how we can compensate for the refraction in ice ? as we know there is 3 layers
1 atmosphere with density d1
2 ice with density d2
3 metal surface
considering the metal surface is a reflector with 99% efficiency
the ice thickness will give rise to multiply refraction and we have two state of ice the surface in contact with the atmosphere and the inner layer of the ice how we can calculate the wave parameter to achieve highest speed of de icing

2- couldn't we use the idea of spraying some heat storage liquid like (heated)cooking oil or other liquids as a way to de ice the turbine
what should we do to determent the best surface tension of the oil for the purpose of making the period of ice - oil contact as high as possible

3 why salt crystals not effecting in making the ice melt fast is it related to how the crystal refract the light ?

although there is methods to prevent the icing of the turbine that would be another post

how the wandervals force (bond) effecting the above questions ?

another ideas like pizo electric mechanical wave generation like in applying sound waves or creating vibrations in the ice sheet , could it be effective on a few hundred ton building like wind turbine ?

Best
Hagop

Last edited by a moderator:
This problem was mostly solved year ago using built in heaters and coatings that prevent ice from forming..,
There are already wind turbines designed to operate in cold climates. There are for example several big installations in the northern part of the Scandinavian countries and there it frequently gets VERY cold for long periods of times. In the area of Sweden where I grew up you will usually have a few weeks where the temperature drops below -15 degrees C in the winter. These days there are lots of turbines in that area.

Also, I might be wrong, but aren't there plenty of wind turbines in the Dakotas? I assume they are designed for cold weather.

I believe the criteria for "cold weather"in Sweden is -8C (-18F), for temperatures higher than that the expectation is that all the equipment be designed to work as normal .

Edit: some quick Googling suggest that the type of turbines that are used in the north of Sweden can operate down to -30C (-22F) and won't be damaged even at temperatures of -40C (which coincidentally is -40F)

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BillTre, BWV, phinds and 3 others
I think the managers in Texas were just not willing to spend the money to make the turbines robust to cold weather, nor were they willing to spend the money on other things to make their grid more robust. It is not a technical problem, it is a political problem.

Oldman too, BWV, PhDeezNutz and 2 others
phyzguy said:
I think the managers in Texas were just not willing to spend the money to make the turbines robust to cold weather

Does it make sense for them to do so? This was the coldest its been in 20 years. It's happened six times in the last 120 years, so it's a once in every 20 year event.

Should we spend money to protect against that?
What about a once per cebtury event?
Once per thousand years?

@Vanadium 50 - what about Feb 2011? -12 degrees F in the Permian Basin in Texas. Wellhead freezeout shut down natural gas production. Because ERCOT could not manage electric generation losses caused by cold. NM Gas Co, provides gas to about 50% of its customers from that source.

I do not buy your argument at all. I know FERC (the feds, AKA Homeland Security) jumped all over NM Gas until they figured out what really happened. Texas was the culprit.So here is a dose of data and facts from NM PRC (NM equivalent of FERC):
http://www.nmprc.state.nm.us/utilities/docs/2011-12-21_Final_Report_NMPRC.pdf
Executive summary:
[snip]...
Temperatures were bitterly cold throughout the region for an extended period of time, and normal cold-weather preparations employed by the operators at many electric generating facilities and at natural gas production and processing facilities proved to be relatively ineffective at protecting against freeze-ups or other equipment malfunctions
...[/snip]

Does this sound familiar? Like the idiot on TV who said, 'Deja vu all over again'

thanks for the input but if you read my post it was about other methods to de ice the turbine other than heating , in case it gathered ice on it

using microwave standing wave

or using heat storage liquids and what surface tension or better say the surface tension determination method for long interaction between the ice and the liquid

why salt crystal is not effecting in making the sun more effective for melting the ice ?

how vandervals bonds could effect the de icing methods mentioned above

and if the idea of using mechanical waves induced by pizo electric elements on devices like wind turbine is a useful thing

as i noticed no one answered this questions
please read the original post for more details on the above questions

It is essentially a done deal already, AFAIK. Do you have some research papers showing your methods being tested successfully?

You are asking several questions so please show some effort on your part.

jim mcnamara said:
what about Feb 2011? -12 degrees F in the Permian Basin in Texas.

I just took the Dallas numbers.

But I think you actually agree with me. Do you agree that the system should be designed to handle a daily event? I think you do. Do you think the system should be designed to handle a once-in-a-few-billion-years event? Say the sun becoming a red giant? I think you don't. So there is some number in between.

Maybe it's every decade. Maybe it's every century. But there is some number.

@Vanadium 50 -just for fun this is a WSJ article (which I cannot see) cited by The Hill:
https://thehill.com/homenews/state-...tricity-market-raised-cost-to-consumers-by-28

It asserts that electric consumer cost increases were: \$US28bn over the past 10 years due to increased KWh charges. Not linked to production costs. The idea of deregulation was to save customer costs, I think.

YMMV.

But this does prove part of your assertion - that TX was economizing in an offbeat sense.

for the using of micro wave on ice i don't know what term i should use on search engine

for the using of liquid storing substances and the investigation of surface tension not done before ad don't know how to look

wander waals in ice i don't know about as i know wanderwaals are in gases and liquids , completely dark on the subject

the idea of using sound waves / mechanical waves to de ice the system is good in theory but is it efficient ? it is 164 ton building

hagopbul said:
for the using of micro wave on ice i don't know what term i should use on search engine
Liquid water and ice have dielectric constants that differ by a factor of 20. Because ice is more transparent to microwaves it is difficult to melt ice with microwaves.

I would like to know why I only see white wind turbine blades, never black?

hagopbul said:
thanks for the input but if you read my post it was about other methods to de ice the turbine other than heating , in case it gathered ice on it

using microwave standing wave

or using heat storage liquids and what surface tension or better say the surface tension determination method for long interaction between the ice and the liquid

why salt crystal is not effecting in making the sun more effective for melting the ice ?

how vandervals bonds could effect the de icing methods mentioned above

and if the idea of using mechanical waves induced by pizo electric elements on devices like wind turbine is a useful thing

as i noticed no one answered this questions
please read the original post for more details on the above questions
I you are not willing to pay for it, it doesn't matter what method you use.

hagopbul said:
1 - due to the fact that the turbine is metallic can't we use SAR radar on millimeter rang (300 mhz to 300ghz ) on spacing with the turbine that made stationary wave set up ?
You want to microwave the turbines? Sure, it could be done, but it would be dangerous and inefficient. I doubt it would save any money vs turning the turbines off.
2- couldn't we use the idea of spraying some heat storage liquid like (heated)cooking oil or other liquids as a way to de ice the turbine
what should we do to determent the best surface tension of the oil for the purpose of making the period of ice - oil contact as high as possible
Difficult...but possible When you spray a liquid at a surface, it cools. We de-ice planes a similar way, but via stationary de-icing stations. I don't know how you'd even implement it for a wind farm. evidently it is done with helicopters.
3 why salt crystals not effecting in making the ice melt fast is it related to how the crystal refract the light ?
Salt melts ice by lowering its freezing/melting point, causing the air to heat the ice and melt it. It has nothing to do with light.

I don't think there is a need to re-invent the wheel here. This is a solved problem - you just need to look up how it has been solved.
https://www.forbes.com/sites/scottc...ze-de-icing-and-carbon-fiber/?sh=144d915e1f59

f95toli said:
Also, I might be wrong, but aren't there plenty of wind turbines in the Dakotas? I assume they are designed for cold weather.
There are some, but what I am most familiar with in that neck-o-the-woods run in a north-south string just east of the South Dakota/Minnesota border. Drive along interstate 90 and you will see them in this area. I've never had a reason to try it, but you might see them on Google Earth.

I wandered around that area on the SD/MN border and found a spot that can be referenced where there appears to be a lot of them. I couldn't get the long/lat to display so I got a small town to show up on the map. So if anyone wants a look, look for a town called Leota in Minnesota. You'll get a satellite view not unlike this one:

Drop a placemarker pin, copy the lat,long = 43.838619°, -96.015486°

Averagesupernova
Baluncore said:
Drop a placemarker pin, copy the lat,long = 43.838619°, -96.015486°
I just figured that out. Lol

The E-W lines North of Interstate 90 are here; 43.695786°, -94.905805°
Street view shows them from the highway.

Averagesupernova
I counted around 25 in about 4 square miles. They stretch a long way north of 90. They're not always as dense as they are in the image I posted but there are a lot of them in that general area. If I'm not mistaken that area is considered one if the windiest places in the USA concerning constant wind. Not many days that they don't generate.

Vanadium 50 said:
But I think you actually agree with me. Do you agree that the system should be designed to handle a daily event? I think you do. Do you think the system should be designed to handle a once-in-a-few-billion-years event? Say the sun becoming a red giant? I think you don't. So there is some number in between.

Maybe it's every decade. Maybe it's every century. But there is some number.
I would surely hope everyone knows/agrees. There are of course written standards for grid reliability (@anorlunda cited them in the more technical thread in EE). But ultimately, both writing and choosing whether or not to follow standards are political choices. Clearly, Texas grid operators made their choice at ~10 years for a massive, long, multi-utility outage. To me, personally, I'd be upset about that. I'd be much more forgiving of a 50 year or 100 year event.

Regardless, the argument over whether a 10, 50 or 100 year event affecting a million electricity customers for a day should be the standard isn't all that interesting to me. What interests me regarding this event is the failure of the natural gas "grid" (and to a lesser extent, the domestic water "grid"). Typically, they are an order of magnitude or two more reliable than the electric grid*, but in this case it seems the natural gas grid drove the failure.

*I see a loss of electricity lasting at least a minute about once a year. More than an hour perhaps half a dozen times in the past 30 years. But as far as I can remember, I've never seen a loss of natural gas or domestic water.

russ_watters said:
You want to microwave the turbines? Sure, it could be done, but it would be dangerous and inefficient. I doubt it would save any money vs turning the turbines off.

I hope you noticed that I am not referring to something to be done now because all the points I mentioned dose need some research which means time until the research is done the texas problem would be over , but if we had good results we may design blades and turbines with megatron's to melt any ice in case of emergency

"Difficult...but possible When you spray a liquid at a surface, it cools. We de-ice planes a similar way, but via stationary de-icing stations. I don't know how you'd even implement it for a wind farm. evidently it is done with helicopters."

Thanks I didn't think that this method is applicable to current problem , I was considering a way to design , design blades and turbines with hydrolic and oil heating system to spray it case of ice detection

I was mainly asking about the problem of wave refraction between ice and atmosphere

And I was asking how to investigate the surface tension of oil to have best results

And of course the mechanical wave propagation in ice and it's effects

But thank you any way your answer was constructive

## 1. How is de-icing of wind turbines in Texas done?

The most common method of de-icing wind turbines in Texas is by using a combination of heat and mechanical force. This can include using heated blades or heating elements embedded in the blades, as well as mechanical devices such as brushes or scrapers to remove ice build-up.

## 2. Why is de-icing necessary for wind turbines in Texas?

De-icing is necessary for wind turbines in Texas because the state experiences cold and freezing temperatures during the winter months. This can lead to ice build-up on the blades of wind turbines, which can affect their performance and potentially cause damage to the turbine.

## 3. How often are wind turbines in Texas de-iced?

The frequency of de-icing wind turbines in Texas depends on the weather conditions. If there is a significant build-up of ice on the blades, de-icing may need to be done multiple times per day. However, in milder winter conditions, de-icing may only be necessary every few days.

## 4. What are the risks associated with de-icing wind turbines in Texas?

There are several potential risks associated with de-icing wind turbines in Texas. These include the use of large amounts of energy to heat and de-ice the turbines, potential damage to the blades or other components during the de-icing process, and safety hazards for workers who may need to physically remove ice from the turbines.

## 5. Are there any alternative methods for de-icing wind turbines in Texas?

There are some alternative methods for de-icing wind turbines in Texas, although they are not as commonly used as the heat and mechanical force method. These include using anti-icing coatings on the blades, which can prevent ice from forming in the first place, and using drones equipped with heaters to de-ice the turbines from a safe distance.

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