News Release from Labkotec Oy


Wind Industry Profile of

Cold comfort with Labkotec's new-generation technology

Labkotec’s LID-3300IP ice detector improves reliability and safety for turbines in arctic winds, helping to solve the familiar problem of ice forming on the rotor blades, and the inherent risks involved, especially in northern coastal regions.

Images: LabkotecImages: Labkotec

The a formation of ice on the rotor blades of wind turbines is a serious safety issue, because, should the ice fall, it could cause damage to buildings, vehicles or people. For these reasons, an adequate safe area should already be designated around the wind turbine at the land-use planning stage. The required size of the safe area can be calculated with this general rule: the size of the safe area is the sum of the height of the wind turbine and the length of its rotor blades multiplied by 1.5. A large wind turbine, therefore, requires a safe area of nearly 500 metres. However, this is not always possible in densely-populated areas. In such circumstances, an efficient ice detector that reduces the safety risks should be considered.

Installing an effective ice detector to the turbine is another option for providing an additional benefit: significantly reducing the strain caused by ice formation. Icy rain and rapid temperature changes impede wind turbine service reliability, burdening their construction and causing service malfunctions. Each additional maintenance break reduces the productivity of the turbines.

New-generation technology

Labkotec’s new LID-3300IP ice detector is especially designed for wind turbines in arctic conditions. The equipment is compact and easy to install in just a couple of hours, is ready to use without calibration, and fits all turbines from different manufacturers. It brings a new generation of technology to old wind turbines, with several advantages:

More safety, less maintenance

The equipment stops the wind turbine when ice begins to form on the rotor blades. This way the ice cannot damage the structure nor cause damage to people or property. The LID-3300IP ice detector notably increases safety and reduces the need for wind turbine maintenance, and meets all official requirements and building permit standards.

Energy savings

The LID-3300IP recognises the onset of ice-forming conditions and detects ice early on, so the heating of the rotor blades can begin before any issues arise. No energy is wasted on melting ice that has already formed on the blades.

User-friendly solutions

The equipment sensors are interchangeable, and no calibration with the central unit is needed. Data communications between the sensors and the unit take place on RS-485 channel, which sets no limitations to the cable type used or the length of the cable required. The equipment has inbuilt web-user interfaces for monitoring purposes. Two analogical outputs can be used, for example, to monitor freezing or to monitor the temperature of the area. The LID-3300IP ice detector can be installed on new and old wind turbines.

Online use

The LID-3300IP operates through a LAN, and is connected to wind turbine control systems using a relay, current data, serial or TCP/IP interface. Congealment status, alarms and parameters can be monitored as well as adjusted through an inbuilt web-user interface wherever a user is able to go online.

How it works

Ice detection is based on measuring an ultrasound signal. In icy conditions, the signals from the sensors weaken. When a set alarm level is reached, the detector alerts the system to the danger of ice formation. The ice detector then automatically begins heating the rotor blades or stops the turbine. After a set delay and a cooling-off period, the alarm expires and the wind turbine turns on again.

Market leader

Labkotec’s LID is the market leader in ice detectors. It has been tested and approved by the Technical Research Centre of Finland (VTT), and more than 2,000 units have already been supplied to the largest wind turbine manufacturers throughout Europe.

In addition to wind turbines, LID ice detectors are in use at airports and weather stations. Finavia, the company maintaining Finnish airports and monitoring air traffic, uses LID products to ensure safe aviation. The LID-3300IP represents the latest technology in the field.

Press Office
Labkotec, ice detector, wind turbine, artic, wind, ice, safety, reliability, Finland, servce, technology

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