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Publication Date
6 March 2020

Radar-Derived Precipitation Climatology for Wind Turbine Blade Leading Edge Erosion



Wind turbine blade leading edge erosion (LEE) is a potentially significant source of revenue loss for wind farm operators. Thus, it is important to advance understanding of the underlying causes, to generate geospatial estimates of erosion potential to provide guidance in pre-deployment planning, and ultimately to advance methods to mitigate this effect and extend blade lifetimes. This study focuses on the second issue and presents a novel approach to characterizing the erosion potential across the contiguous USA based solely on publicly available data products from the National Weather Service dual-polarization radar. The approach is described in detail and illustrated using six locations distributed across parts of the USA that have substantial wind turbine deployments. Results from these locations demonstrate the high spatial variability in precipitation-induced erosion potential, illustrate the importance of low-probability high-impact events to cumulative annual total kinetic energy transfer and emphasize the importance of hail as a damage vector.

“Radar-Derived Precipitation Climatology For Wind Turbine Blade Leading Edge Erosion”. 2020. Wind Energy Science 5: 331-347. doi:10.5194/wes-5-331-2020.
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