Ingeteam is working together with the University of Castilla la Mancha (UCLM) on research into advanced techniques for defrosting wind turbine blades and preventing the accumulation of snow. This will lead to increased wind farm profitability by avoiding the uncontrolled shutdown of wind turbines located in areas with low temperatures.
The avoidance of wind turbine shutdowns during times of ice or snow represents considerable financial and energy savings. A study conducted by Ingeteam Service revealed that 517 wind turbines, with a total installed power output of 682 MW, failed to produce 18,966 MWh over a 29 month period solely due to ice on the blades. This energy loss is practically equivalent to the sum of all major incidents: gear box replacement, generator replacement, etc. Extrapolating these figures to a national level, with more than 21,000 MW installed, this would be equivalent to a production loss of 550 GWh and, therefore, to some 45 million € every 29 months.
The avoidance of these production losses would be equivalent to the consumption of 200,000 homes and a saving of 658,682 Ton of CO2.
The systems being developed by Ingeteam prevent the accumulation of ice or snow on the wind turbine blades, thereby avoiding unnecessary shutdowns. These shutdowns are to safeguard worker safety and to prevent potential imbalances that could damage the turbine's power train components.
The project, named Icingblade, has a budget of half a million euros and is supported by the INNPACTO 2012 call for proposals, funded by the ministry with ERDF funds. Ingeteam is heading the project in which the University of Castilla La Mancha (UCLM) is also actively collaborating.
Technological innovation is a key factor in Ingeteam's activity and is the driving force behind the company's growth, development and leadership. R&D is pivotal to the company's success and, for this reason, 11% of Ingeteam's employees are dedicated to research and development. This highly qualified team of professionals is basically located in Spain. The financial investment made over the last few years has been linked to an increase in the number of people dedicated to this area. Along these lines, in 2012 Ingeteam allocated more than 8% of its turnover to research and development. The company constantly remains focussed on innovation, as part of its global market positioning. As a result of this approach, each year Ingeteam develops many different R&D projects which are then converted into real applications and products to be used by our customers.