Case Studies / Turbine Retrofit: Minnesota, USA

Replacement of inferior ultrasonic sensors unable to withstand the freezing conditions.


FT was approached by a wind controls consultancy firm who wanted to help its wind farm client find reliable wind sensors capable of operating in cold climate conditions.

The client had bought its turbines overseas and then re-wired them to the 60Hz grid in the USA. Unfortunately, the ultrasonic wind sensors that were on the turbines originally, kept on breaking, causing significant downtime, even during the summer. In the winter they were becoming iced-up and the moisture was seeping inside the sensors causing them to break down even more frequently.

Comparison of ultrasonic wind sensors FT vs otherAfter replacing the original ultrasonic sensors with like for like products, the turbines were still breaking down and the consultancy firm was asked to find a solution.

The consultant, Guy Le Blanc, inspected the existing sensors and declared they were not capable of withstanding the incredibly cold Minnesota weather. Investigating possible solutions, Guy visited a nearby large megawatt wind farm and asked what sensors they were using. They recommended the FT702 pipe mount sensor explaining that they worked reliably through the Minnesota winters.

Comparing the cost of the FT702 sensor with the loss of revenue incurred by shutdowns and long downtimes waiting for a technician to service the existing sensors, Guy recommended that the client invest in the FT702 sensors.


Since installing FT Technologies sensors, the wind farm operator has seen a significant reduction in turbine downtime, particularly in the winter as the internal heating system in the FT702 prevents icing and therefore communications interruption.


Guy Le Blanc is the owner of Le Blanc Consulting, based out of Albert Lea, Minnesota. He has over 20 years of experience in designing, building and installing industrial controls and wiring.

After hearing about the reliable performance of the FT702 and then holding it in my hand and feeling the difference in weight and size, I was sold!

Discussing the project with Gordon Bease, Director – North American Operations at FT Technologies, I came to understand that not all wind sensors are the same or equal. It was an eye-opener!

We went from the one on the left to the FT702LT. We were not able to get any information on the one from the other supplier (left) and the winter mist made it an ice block. The weather can throw anything at us now; this sensor and FT Technologies has made it possible to keep these turbines running.

Thank you very much for your support and product.

Guy Le Blanc
Owner of Le Blanc Consulting