Articles | Volume 8, issue 3
Research article
15 Mar 2023
Research article |  | 15 Mar 2023

Numerical simulations of ice accretion on wind turbine blades: are performance losses due to ice shape or surface roughness?

Francesco Caccia and Alberto Guardone

Related subject area

Thematic area: Fluid mechanics | Topic: Wind turbine aerodynamics
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Cited articles

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Battisti, L.: Aerodynamic Performances of Ice Contaminated Rotors, in: Wind Turbines in Cold Climates: Icing Impacts and Mitigation Systems, Springer International Publishing, 113–176,, 2015. a
Bellosta, T., Parma, G., and Guardone, A.: A robust 3D particle tracking solver for in-flight ice accretion using arbitrary precision arithmetic, in: VIII International Conference on Computational Methods for Coupled Problems in Science and Engineering, CIMNE, 3–5 June 2019, Sitges, Spain, 622–633, ISBN 978-849491945-9, (last access: 6 March 2023), 2019. a
Blasco, P., Palacios, J., and Schmitz, S.: Effect of icing roughness on wind turbine power production, Wind Energy, 20, 601–617,, 2017. a
Short summary
Ice roughness deteriorates wind turbine aerodynamics. We have shown numerically that this also occurs when complex ice shapes are present on the leading edge, as long as the blade's wet region extends beyond the ice shape itself and roughness elements are high enough. Such features are typical of icing events on wind turbines but are not captured by current icing simulation tools. Future research should focus on correctly computing both the wet region of the blade and the roughness height.
Final-revised paper