Article

Wind crashes Waverly turbine

A 50-ton structure fell 246 feet to the frozen ground on Saturday when the blades of a turbine under construction east of Waverly caught wind and started rotating at a speed reaching 60 rpm. The hub housing the generating components of the Cannon II turbine and the structure's three 177-foot blades collapsed after spinning for hours at the mercy of the wind, says Waverly Light and Power General Manager Diane Johnson. A gust caught the blades prematurely on Friday.

A 50-ton structure fell 246 feet to the frozen ground on Saturday when the blades of a turbine under construction east of Waverly caught wind and started rotating at a speed reaching 60 rpm.

The hub housing the generating components of the Cannon II turbine and the structure's three 177-foot blades collapsed after spinning for hours at the mercy of the wind, says Waverly Light and Power General Manager Diane Johnson.

A gust caught the blades prematurely on Friday because, prior to the installation, they were not turned in a way that would have prevented them from catching wind until construction was complete, according to a press release issued by the municipal utility.

The error was discovered only after the structure had been put in place. No one was hurt in the accident.

"It could have spun for days," Johnson says, adding that the problem can happen only during installation.

On Monday, as the mangled blades lay at the base of the tower, construction crews worked to dismantle the structure's top and middle sections to reinforce the turbine.

Crew and neighbors were evacuated overnight until the structure collapsed under its own weight.... more [truncated due to possible copyright]  

A 50-ton structure fell 246 feet to the frozen ground on Saturday when the blades of a turbine under construction east of Waverly caught wind and started rotating at a speed reaching 60 rpm.

The hub housing the generating components of the Cannon II turbine and the structure's three 177-foot blades collapsed after spinning for hours at the mercy of the wind, says Waverly Light and Power General Manager Diane Johnson.

A gust caught the blades prematurely on Friday because, prior to the installation, they were not turned in a way that would have prevented them from catching wind until construction was complete, according to a press release issued by the municipal utility.

The error was discovered only after the structure had been put in place. No one was hurt in the accident.

"It could have spun for days," Johnson says, adding that the problem can happen only during installation.

On Monday, as the mangled blades lay at the base of the tower, construction crews worked to dismantle the structure's top and middle sections to reinforce the turbine.

Crew and neighbors were evacuated overnight until the structure collapsed under its own weight. The crane below was spared.

Howling wind and subzero temperatures added to the challenges Saturday afternoon as crews rushed to the scene to examine the damage and keep the tower from caving in.

The accident has put everyone to the test, Johnson says, but the utility plans to forge forward with plans to launch the turbine. Engineers and insurance companies are tallying damages.

"We believe in wind power, we believe in it for the community, we believe in it for [Waverly] Light and Power, we believe in it for Iowa," Johnson says. "These are fluke accidents. We wish that it had not happened to us. We will pick up the pieces and we will go on."


Source: http://communitynewspapergr...

FEB 25 2009
http://www.windaction.org/posts/19257-wind-crashes-waverly-turbine
back to top