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Published on : Sep 25, 2019

Increasing focus on renewable sources of energy increased massively in the last few decades. Governments across various regions have been making significant efforts to increase the use of different types of renewable energy mainly to reduce the global warming and greenhouse emission. Wind energy is one such type of renewable source of energy on which emphasis has increased significantly. Moreover, researchers are also making persistent efforts in improving use of wind energy through wind turbines and others.

Minute Details Having Significant Impact

Hui Hu at Iowa State University who is using university’s Icing Research Tunnel to study icing of wind turbine blades. He is carrying out recent developments that will help in increasing wind power production. He focused on 3D printouts of wind turbine blades, icy airplane wings, and power cables. All parts where the edges need to be smooth and bent, and responsible for lift and spin with the wind are now coarse and bumpy due to ice building. Different types of rain and ice caused these bumps and coarse. This study helps in understating some of very minute details that were not known yet. The insight of getting to know that very small surface alterations with ice-phobic coatings can also affect icing physics intensely is of huge importance.

This study will also allow researchers to generate ice crystals and study how they could create icing difficulties as they affect hot turbine blades in jet engines. To understand this, high-speed digital image projection systems were used along with infrared-thermal imaging cameras. Together they collect every single detail of ice formation on airfoil. This further helped in understanding the reason behind increase in drag and decrease in lift. Surface on which ice or water hit also had impact on lift and drift of wind turbine. Thus, with good test results power production can be increased at lower costs.