Objectives

The driving force behind the project is the need for a step-wise acceleration of large wind turbines for off-shore and cold climate applications. Wind turbines are one of the fastest growing sources of power in the world today. Over the past twenty years, there has been a great deal of effort connected to the design of wind turbines, control systems, and energy storage systems to enable wind generation to be used in remote or hybrid power applications. 

This proposal outlines the development of a highly innovative process for application of superhydrophobic coatings onto large off-shore turbine blades, with the aim of providing step-wise advancement in wind turbine performance, long term operation in icing, corrosive and humid environments, significantly reduced manufacturing times/costs, flexible scalability of application and reduced environmental impact.

 

Expected impacts from HYDROBOND Project 

-     Based on the properties of the new coatings, that will act as a passive anti-icing method; allow the design and construction of lighter larger wind turbines, avoiding the needs of heavier active anti-icing methods.

-     Due to the anti-icing properties, new hydrophobic coatings will allow the minimization of the ice accretion and will increase the reliability and operational life of components by reducing the mechanical failures. As already stated in this proposal, ice accretion will increase the load on the blades and on the tower structure, causing high amplitude vibrations and/or resonance as well as mass imbalance between blades, affecting specially the gearboxes whose lifetime is considerably reduced.

-     New anti-icing coatings will improve the cost/efficiency ratio of the blades, because ice accretion changes the shape and roughness of the blade airfoil significantly reducing aerodynamic properties of the blade resulting in power losses.

-     Due to the enhanced bond strength and the ability to keep the anit-icing properties even when wear phenomena happens, will contribute on reducing the maintenance needs. The new developed process, being a portable one, will also contribute to reduce the maintenance cost of off-shore wind turbines allowing in situ repair.

-     The solution proposed in HYDROBOND project can be easily applied to on-shore wind turbines, both the new ones and during retrofit or maintenance cycles.