Mystery surrounds collapse of wind turbine head at Australian Antarctic Division’s Mawson research station

An Antarctic research station is relying on diesel generators after a wind turbine collapsed overnight.

The Australia Antarctic Division has reported that the head of the turbine fell to the ground about 9pm at Mawson research station.

No one was injured in the incident.

Dr Rob Wooding, AAD general manager of support and operations, said all expeditioners were safely inside the living quarters at the time.

The collapsed turbine head at Mawson station. Picture: KAT PANJARI/AUSTRALIAN ANTARCTIC DIVISION
“While Mawson can experience regular blizzards, the conditions over the last few days have been moderate with wind gusts of up to 40 knots,” Dr Wooding said.

“We have a regular maintenance scheduled for all the wind turbines. The cause of the incident is unknown and will be fully investigated.”

An aerial view of Mawson station looking west showing the yellow operations building, green stores building and red living quarters. Picture: CHRIS WILSON/AUSTRALIAN ANTARCTIC DIVISION
The Enercon E30 turbine is 30m high and is one of two on station which came into operation in 2003.

The second turbine has been deactivated as a precautionary measure, with the station’s diesel generators being used to provide power.

The German manufacturer of the turbine will be notified.


NOV 8 2017
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