Ice freezes windmills in Sweden

Helicopters a new weapon against ice

Glaciated rotor blades are the scourge of wind turbines in cold climates, as the ice can bring the blades to a stop.

A helicopter company in Constance has developed a solution – featuring a helicopter, of course. They use a helicopter to spray hot water, which quickly melts ice from the blades.

It takes us about 1.5 hours to deice wind turbines, says CEO Mats Widgren.

The water is heated overnight using a truck equipped with a 260 kW oil burner.  Come morning, the helicopter can start shuttling the water to the icy wind turbine.

The method has been tested in temperatures down to minus 20 degrees without problems, according to Widgren.

The operation requires three people: A helicopter pilot, an operator to control the sprayer, and a person at the truck to rapidly refill the empty tank.

The cost to deice a turbine is equivalent to two days of electricity.

As an alternative, some turbines have an electric heating foil on the rotor blades to prevent ice growth.

Thanks to Bill Sellers for this link

26 thoughts on “Ice freezes windmills in Sweden”

    • So the turbines would generate power to keep themselves ice free in winter, right about the time when we need maximum amounts of electrical energy. Defeating the objective fits the description. What a load of cobblers these turbines are! I think the green – save the earth – tribe , ought to stick to what they know best, planting and eating turnips!

  1. How Ironic. They have to burn fossils fuel and generate carbon dioxide so that they can use a renewable source of electricity.
    Might just as well stick with fossils fuel electricity generation.

  2. Really makes a mockery of wind power reducing emissions!

    I never cease to be amazed that advocates also seem to think that “renewable” energy sources like windmills and solar panels last forever. The installation costs are greater, their lifespans shorter, they require maintenance and produce far less energy and are significantly less reliable.

    Any other product with those attributes would quickly be consigned to the dustbin of history.

  3. 10 million Arctic turbines, 100,000 helicopters for 4 months of the years, plus crew, the helicopters would cost more than the turbines, The Av turbine fuel for the time on flight would produce more electricity on demand at the right time than the turbines produce at the wrong times, great idea, good PR, barking mad in practice.

    Take note: the cold roller coaster ride has now started for real, into the Modern Mini Ice Age. The Suns energy output is now tracking lower than Dalton. Fortunately it will be a two cycle minimum, unlike Maunder which was two minimums tacked together over a 90 year period, as was the Sporer minimum.

    The dips in temperature; each one is a Solar Minimum:

    Notice the little dip to the left of the Oort minimum, it’s unnamed on the above chart, but it started the rise of a civilization, the Angles and Saxon horse tribes to the east of the Urals started their migration to the shores of the Atlantic inAD600. Solar minimum more often end civilizations, in famine, war, and disease.

    This modern solar minimum is already lower in energy out than Dalton; it may go as low as the Wolf minimum. That solar minimum ended the Medieval Maximum and ended the Viking occupation of Greenland into the bargin, as well as mass famine in Europe at the same time frame.

    • rubbish, the UK has been in a warm bubble for most of this winter and is going back into another one after a short cooler spell. So global warming is real and mini-ages are just a fantasy of deniers. There has also been fog in the Channel and the European Continent has been cut-off from civilisation. Get real Jimbob!

  4. I think using a helicopter for 1.5 hrs will negate any CO2 savings the windmill generates for the next month. I could be wrong of course it may be far more.

  5. Same old story with big govt and alot of big companies as well.
    Save $1000.00 but spend $10,000.00 doing it.
    We here in Australia have just been shown with a company called Masters, an offshoot of Woolies, lost Billions.

  6. Check out Jim Mccanney’s new Wing Generator, over at
    His reworking of the standard wind generator starts producing energy at about 5mph, is scalable from individual homes/ranches up to large cities, and can be built for 1/100th the cost of standard coal/gas/nuke power plants. They are built of high grade materials , easily maintained and are pollution-free (after the initial construction of course). Voltage is controlled at the source. Physicist Mccanney estimates that 250-300 wing generators, each 1000 ft. In diameter would be more than enough tp supply the energy needs of the US.

    • That is because the MONEY is in building Wind Farms, not Maintaining Wind Farms. Government pays to Build them, not Maintain them.

      • Immediately after the Paris meeting the Sunday newspaper RAPPORT had an article about ESKOM being forced by the Environmental Department to adjust its coal-fired power stations at a cost of R134 milliard ($8 000 000 000) over 10 years to reduce CO2 emissions. While Eskom struggles to keep head above water financially, and the country’s economy is severely hampered by power shortage and escalating electricity costs. My letter to the RAPPORT trying to educate the readers about the real science of climate change was predictably not included in the next edition. Inconvenient truth.

    • It would be interesting to see your holiday snaps of formerly clean roads and highways in South African towns and cities Are they as litter -strewn as a relative of mine reported 2 years ago? Some stretches of inactive and useless wind turbine are visible in America watch them do nothing on Youtube.

  7. Einstein said: Only two things are infinite; the universe and human stupidity….and I’m not sure about the universe. Fiddlin

  8. Seems to me that some sort of electric heating element or possibly conduits for de-icing fluid built into the blades would work much better, though it would add cost, complexity and cost to the turbine. One of the real advantages of wind power is that it’s distributed and doesn’t need transmission lines, so it also seems that small scale distributed windmills would work better.

    • Uh… No. Here in Texas, the wind blows most reliably in deep west Texas, where no one lives. So, the state spends tens of millions on transmission lines to bring the power to the rest of the state where the people are. Even worse, the cost of these transmission lines is billed as “infrastructure” rather than as part of the cost of the wind power itself, which makes the wind power seem much cheaper than it actually is. Without this accounting trick, most of the turbines would never have been built in the first place.

    • Harold,
      A question: Jim Mccanney also made mention of the fact that power generated by his “wing generator” , was ‘distributed’.

      I don’t understand. To say that electrical power is *distributed* is a bit redundant to my ear. Of course it is distributed…that is, spread out amongst those who are hooked up to the source of power.

      Can you elaborate?


      Larry C.

  9. I live near a couple hundred + of these dumb things, in the hot dog days of summer when everyone has their air on they don’t turn much, no wind,then they kick up the co-gens-gas fired. In winter after the cold blows in and everyone needs max heat the wind dies down- co gens running on gas. I guess when they do work we throw our nuclear power away, but don’t worry it’s not much, I was told that these 270 windmills can’t even supply one small town in my county, if that’s not going ass backwards i don’t know what is. Many people get $$$ because these things turn the sun into a slow strobe light at sunrise & set. I think all the people from town who come out and oooo & aahh at their stupid windmills should have their morning coffee with that damn light blinking in their eyes.

    • My old windmill serves as a wireless internet dist. tower for my area, it’s a old water pump tower circa 1800s, I rebolted, & put up now I get free Internet, now that’s a good old windmill!

      • No I haven’t walked any in those fields, but I know one landowner who has 5 in one field and he might tell me or let me go arrowhead hunting and I could see for myself. I don’t think it’s a big problem here in IL. , most windmills are out in open areas where it’s waterfoul or hawks , one would have to look for feathers , the coyotes can dismantle & consume a large deer in sight of a week so they keep things cleaned up. Some landowners with poorer soil have probably doubled profit on that ground so dead birds aren’t going to be a hot topic anyway ,if youknow what I mean. Too late anyway, their already up. PS they spent 7 or 8 million in the early 2000s on a study to see if the wind blew enough around the windy city to have windmills.

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