The potential for producing wind energy in cold climates is vast. As the International Energy Agency’s Wind Task Force reports, these cold, windy, often uninhabited sites are great potential sites for building large wind farms. However, frequent icing events directly lower energy production. We estimate that lost energy production alone costs small wind farms located in the continental US close to $1.5 M in revenue annually – and the number would be 3-5 times higher for larger wind farms and/or wind farms located in particularly cold areas. Add to that liability issues caused by ice throw and increased noise, as well as increased maintenance costs as wear and tear is worsened due to uneven weight distribution on blades, and it’s clear that icing represents a real financial burden for wind energy producers.
At Elemental Coatings, we’re adapting our established expertise in aerospace anti-icing coatings to create new formulations that help protect wind turbine blades from costly ice buildup. Our coatings make ice much easier to remove, leading to less overall ice buildup, more uptime, and less harmful ice throws. Our coating can be applied on top of existing paints and topcoats, making retrofits simple, and the coating requires no power or active electronics of any kind.