So when you work in the aerospace R&D industry, you come across some really cool and unique projects. One of the more recent projects involved HUGE wind turbines, or windmills depending on where you're from. We were tasked to convert our electric aircraft wing de-ice system into a wind turbine blade deicing system. When I say huge I mean incredibly HUGE! One wind turbine blade itself is 150ft long and 6ft in diameter. The center of the nacelle or nose cone is 350ft off the ground. The average aircraft I'm use to working on might have a total wing area of 100ft. So the workload just increased 300%. My role in this project was to retrofit our aircraft deicing heater design onto a wind turbine blade. The process I currently use on aircraft involves a thermal adhesive that uses heat for application. My problem is that the wind turbines are in icy cold Sweden. So you can see the dilemma. For a solid year my job was to research, develop, then test pressure sensitive adhesives that worked in cold environments. What steered me in the right direction was frozen foods! I noticed that some frozen food packaging had stickers on it. So I traced the frozen stickers back to a company called Fasson. They happen to be a division of Avery Dennision and were intrigued with the project and happy to help. After approximately 1000+ emails, 100's of test samples, and numerous H.A.L.T. tests, we had a working model!!! The next year of my life was spent making heaters.
WIND TURBINE ICE PROTECTION SYSTEM (WTIPS)
protects a wind turbine by deicing the blade's leading edge, pulsing power to safetly shed ice, and allows continuous turbine operation during hazardous icing conditions. WTIPS is a electro-therma deice system using technology orinally developed through aNASA SBIR (Small Business Innovative Research) grant for Kelly Aerospace Thermal Systems. Kelly Aerospace manufactures theThermaWing™ system; a lightweight, easy-to-install, reliable deicing system, and in support of green energy brought the application to the Wind industry.
- wind turbine
- pressure adhesives
Client:Vestas, Kelly Aerospace Thermal Systems
Share this portfolio
No facebook account but want to comment?
Use my website! You can Register HERE.