Can Wind Turbines work in cold and Ice conditions?

Wind Turbines at Palouse, WA, United States

Yes, Wind turbines can work and operate in cold and ice regions. Certified wind turbines can operate down to -40 Celsius without interruption.

For some windfarm regions in the world, the windiest time of the year is during the winter.

Turbines operating in regions with years-round snow have special design features. They have heaters for sensors, electronics, and gearbox oil. This ends up increasing the cost of the wind turbines. In hot weather, these features are not needed.

Wind turbine in Ontario, Canada

Certain types of weather can lead to ice buildup on wind turbine blades and critical sensors
such as the anemometer. The weight of ice buildup can become extreme and unbalance the
rotor blades. Some wind turbines may have a deicing system on the blades.

Even if the turbines are able to function properly in cold climates, wind farm operators can turn off the turbines if they feel the weather conditions are extreme.

Wind turbines in Greece

Under certain conditions, large chunks of ice can fall from wind turbines, or even hit other turbines that are operating nearby! Falling chunks of ice can be lethal, so parks can stop power production just for safety reasons.

The use of drones and helicopters may be necessary to remove excess ice from the turbines.

helicopter to de ice the wind turbine blades

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