Task 19 Work Plan and Objectives

Task 19 Objectives

Areas that experience icing events (Icing Climate) or periods with temperatures below the operational limits of standard wind turbines (Low Temperature Climate) may see negative impacts in project implementation, economics, and safety. In some areas, wind turbines are only exposed to either icing or low temperature events, and in some regions, both low temperatures and icing events may take place. The IEA Wind TCP Task 19 Wind Energy in Cold Climates began work in 2002 to address the special issues for wind turbines operating in cold environments. The Task seeks to enable large scale deployment of cold climate wind power in a safe and economically-feasible manner.

Stopped_turbines_Olos.jpgTask 19's project objectives:
  • Collecting information on ice mapping and producing and verifying ice maps for selected areas, to ease and support the early phases of project development.
  • Collecting information and experiences related to icing forecasts with numerical weather models. This topic is expected to become increasingly important, as it also affects wind forecasts in cold climate regions.
  • Finding new solutions and thus improving the available methods for resource assessment and turbine operation at cold climate sites. Power supply, sensor optics and detection of ice are focus areas.
  • Following and collecting up-to-date information from the current state of anti- and de-icing and coating solutions that are available or currently being developed.
  • Reviewing the current standards and recommendations from the cold climate point of view, and identifying the needs for updates.
  • Recommending improved methods to estimate the effects of ice on production, thus reducing incorrect estimates and the risks that are involved in cold climate wind energy projects currently, and verifying the method on the basis of data from national projects according to the possibilities.
  • Clarifying the significance of extra loading that ice and cold climate induce on wind turbine components and disseminating those results.
  • Initiating a market survey for cold climate wind technology, including wind farms, remote grid systems and stand-alone systems.
  • Improving the understanding of the risks and the mitigation strategies for the problem of ice throw from wind turbines at cold climate sites.
  • Updating the state-of-the-art report and update the expert group study on applying wind energy in cold climates


Cold climate areas have gained more focus recently in attempts to reach higher wind energy targets. Wind resources in cold climate areas are typically good, and combining these resources with typically low population densities makes cold climate areas attractive for wind development. Increased experience, knowledge, and improvements in cold climate technologies have made projects in cold climates more competitive with standard, milder climate wind projects. By end of 2015, the global wind capacity operating in cold climates was approximately 127 GW; however, only a portion of this wind turbine fleet is designed for icing and low temperature conditions. Between 2016-2020, an additional 60 GW of new installations is forecasted (12 GW of annual growth) to the global cold climate market making it truly a substantial share of total global wind energy installations. This means that the stimulus for further development of wind power projects and technology in cold climate areas is strong.

However, icing and low ambient temperatures pose special challenges for wind energy projects. Icing of wind turbine rotor blades reduces energy yield, may shorten the mechanical life of turbines, and increases safety risk due to potential ice throw. Low temperatures can affect a turbine’s mechanical lifetime if they are not taken into account in turbine design by using appropriate materials.

To meet the demand for cold climate installations, turbine manufacturers have developed technical solutions for low temperatures of their standard turbines. First-generation commercial solutions for de-icing wind turbine blades have also entered the marketplace. R&D activities have been conducted in a number of countries to master the difficulties that atmospheric icing and low temperatures create. These research activities aim to improve the economics of wind power at new areas around the globe. The coming years are important to validate the fresh information and knowledge, and to analyze the performance of the adapted technologies arising from the wind energy projects going on, as well to gather more information.

Task 19 Meeting Schedule for 2016 – 2018:

Item Date Location Host Topic
Meeting, Unofficial February 2016 (Winterwind 2016) Åre, Sweden Kick-off 2016-2018, Work plan 2016
Virtual 1/2016 April 2016 Virtual Market study, IEC work, plan WS#1 for Lender’s Technical Advisors @EWEA2016
Meeting 1/2016 June 2016 Bristol, UK GNV GL Finalize market study, IEA ice class validation, IEC work
Virtual 2/2016 September 2016 Virtual IEC work, IPS guidelines
Meeting 2/2016 December 2016 Oslo, NO KVT WS#2 for turbine OEMs on IPS guidelines, ice throw, AT updates, IEC work
Meeting Unofficial February 2017 (Winterwind 2017) Sweden WS#2 for turbine OEMs, IEC work
Virtual 1/2017 April 2017 IEC work
Meeting 1/2017 Spring 2017 IWAIS China? CARDC RP update needs (ice sensor classification), IEC work, ice mapping, lab & full-scale testing procedures
Virtual 2/2017 September 2017 IPS guidelines, IEC work, T19IceLossMethod validation & development
Meeting 2/2017 December 2017 Andermatt? Meteotest Finalize IPS guidelines, ice throw, AT updates, IEC work