Experimental investigation of surface wettability induced anti-icing characteristics in an ice wind tunnel

Haoyang Sun, Guiping Lin, Haichuan Jin, Xueqin Bu, Chujiang Cai, Qi Jia, Kuiyuan Ma, Dongsheng Wen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

24 Scopus citations


Turbine blade icing is a serious threat for the safety of wind power generation. Low energy ice protection techniques especially those using superhydrophobic surfaces, have attracted intensive interest recently. In this work, the anti-icing characteristics of wind turbine blade have been investigated in an ice wind tunnel, and the influence of surface wettabilities, preparation methods on the ice protection performance and the durability of different surface materials have been examined experimentally. It is found that the surface wettability can dramatically change the ice protection characteristics. Superhydrophobic surfaces prepared by both spraying and laser ablation methods can efficiently reduce the energy consumption of the electrothermal system, and the maximum reduction reaches 76.7% when the temperature of heating surface is lower than 15°C. The surface tension induced flow pattern change of runback water should be responsible for the efficient anti-icing performance, where the runback water sheds from the superhydrophobic surface rapidly, preventing the runback icing on the surface. Droplets impacting can damage the wettabilities and the superhydrophobic surface prepared by laser ablation method shows a better durability during the ice wind tunnel test. A new concept of superhydrophobic-dry anti-icing has been proposed based on the results of this work, which is very promising in solving the icing issue of wind turbine blade with low energy consumption.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1179-1190
Number of pages12
JournalRenewable Energy
StatePublished - Dec 2021
Externally publishedYes


  • Anti-icing
  • Durability
  • Ice protection
  • Ice wind tunnel
  • Superhydrophobic surface
  • Wind turbine blade icing


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