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Methods and apparatus for rotor blade ice detection

United States Patent

August 8, 2006
View the Complete Patent at the US Patent & Trademark Office
National Renewable Energy Laboratory - Visit the NREL Technology Transfer Website
A method for detecting ice on a wind turbine having a rotor and one or more rotor blades each having blade roots includes monitoring meteorological conditions relating to icing conditions and monitoring one or more physical characteristics of the wind turbine in operation that vary in accordance with at least one of the mass of the one or more rotor blades or a mass imbalance between the rotor blades. The method also includes using the one or more monitored physical characteristics to determine whether a blade mass anomaly exists, determining whether the monitored meteorological conditions are consistent with blade icing; and signaling an icing-related blade mass anomaly when a blade mass anomaly is determined to exist and the monitored meteorological conditions are determined to be consistent with icing.
LeMieux; David Lawrence (Tehachapi, CA)
General Electric Company (Schenectady, NY)
10/ 865,376
June 10, 2004
STATEMENT REGARDING FEDERALLY SPONSORED RESEARCH & DEVELOPMENT The U.S. Government has a paid-up license in this invention and the right in limited circumstances to require the patent owner to license others on reasonable terms as provided for by the terms of Next Generation Turbine (NGT) Development Contract No. ZAM-7-13320-26 awarded by the Department of Energy (DOE) and managed through the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL).