Gamesa unveils ice-busting paint

Spanish wind turbine maker Gamesa has unveiled a new ice-shedding nanotechnology blade paint for its 5MW offshore machines.

The BladeShield technology, developed as part of the government-backed Azimut project as an anti-icing paint mix that also beefs up the blade-surface’s resistance to erosion, will also be used on its 2.0-2.5MW platform for cold-climate onshore wind farms.

“Most of the anti-icing solutions on the markets studied within the Azimut project reduce blade paint´s resistance to erosion. Gamesa has attempted to remain one step ahead, using nanomaterials to create a system that not only prevents ice formation but also improves anti-erosion performance,” says Gamesa chief technology officer José Antonio Malumbres.

BladeShield uses an additive dissolved in a dispersing agent and mixed in the paint base that “ultimately results in a homogenous mix that improves, even doubles, the paint's anti-erosion and durability properties”.

Along with the new anti-icing solution, Gamesa has also developed new ice-detection technology for 2.0-2.5MW turbines operating in extreme weather conditions, including sub-zero temperatures. The company is currently collaborating with Finnish R&D outfit VTT to hatch a version for its 5MW turbines.

The European Wind Energy Association forecasts 45-50GW of wind farms will be built in cold climates by 2017, 72% more than at year-end 2012.

Gamesa has framework agreements with Finland’s Tuuliwatti for the supply of turbine for 285MW and 135MW projects, and with Sweden’s Eolus Vind, to which it is delivering four G114-2.0MW machines.