NWC REU 2016
May 23 - July 29



Photo of author

Analysis of Anti-Ice Coatings on Field Operational Anemometers

Jamin Rader and Brad Illston


What is already known:

  • Norman, Oklahoma, has lost more than 26 days of wind data over the last decade due to ice accumulation on anemometers—a product of freezing precipitation.
  • Many have researched the success of superhydrophobic coatings as anti-ice technologies, though no effective solutions have been found.

What this study adds:

  • An R. M. Young Alpine Wind Monitor, made for winter conditions, and an R. M. Young Wind Monitor covered in NeverWet were not successful as anti-ice technologies through six freezing precipitation case studies in Norman, Oklahoma.
  • Neither of these technologies were deemed beneficial for operational use for the Oklahoma Mesonet.


Ice accumulation on anemometers, a side effect of freezing precipitation, makes reliable wind measurements nearly impossible to collect during winter conditions. Over the last decade, the Oklahoma Mesonet has lost more than 26 days worth of wind measurements at its location in Norman, Oklahoma, USA as a result of this freezing precipitation. This study tested the reliability of two anemometers with anti-ice technologies through icing conditions: an R. M. Young Wind Monitor coated in NeverWetTM, a superhydrophobic coating, and an R. M. Young Alpine Wind Monitor. Wind measurements collected between 19 Nov. 2013 and 30 Nov. 2015 showed little difference between the performance of the anemometers with anti-ice technologies and an unaltered R. M. Young Wind Monitor through six periods of freezing precipitation. At best, the Alpine anemometer remained iced for 40 fewer minutes than the uncoated anemometer (0.7% of the length of the freezing precipitation event) and the coated anemometer remained iced for 80 fewer minutes (5.1% of the length of the freezing precipitation event). In these six events, the anti-ice technologies did not prove to be more reliable alternatives to the R. M. Young Wind Monitor during freezing precipitation and their implementation would not provide suf cient bene t for operational use in the Oklahoma Mesonet.

Full Paper [PDF]