Articles filed under Structural Failure from USA

Worker's wind tower death detailed

Locked turbine blades and an unplugged circuit board may have been behind the sequence of events that buckled a wind turbine tower and sent a technician plunging to his death. Chadd Mitchell, 35, a technician for turbine manufacturer Siemens Power Generation, died Aug. 25 when a tower at the Klondike III wind farm in Sherman County collapsed. Mitchell was in the generator box, or nacelle, 231 feet from the ground when the incident occurred. ...About 2 p.m. the blades were set flat to the wind "in the full-power position," Winneguth said, which ran counter to safety procedures and proved fatal.
17 Nov 2007

Worker at Oregon wind farm killed

A wind turbine tower crashed to the ground at a wind farm east of The Dalles, killing one worker and injuring another, Sherman County authorities said. Sheriff's Deputy Geremy Shull said the collapse occurred Saturday afternoon. He declined to release the names of the workers, but said the man who died was from Goldendale, Wash. The injured worker was in serious condition at a hospital in The Dalles, Shull said.
26 Aug 2007

Time short for town’s turbines

SPRINGVIEW, Neb. - In this ranching village near the South Dakota border, there's a Turbine Avenue and a Turbine Mart convenience store and the annual Wind Turbine Days festival. But soon the two wind turbines that inspired those names - the first in Nebraska when they were erected in 1998 - may be coming down. Frequent breakdowns and increasingly expensive repairs are dooming the graceful structures.
23 May 2007

Bad gluing blamed for mishaps at wind farm

It all came down to glue. And how it was misapplied by workers. Spanish wind-energy company Gamesa said "insufficient and irregular distribution of glue" caused large pieces to break off seven turbine blades at the Allegheny Ridge Wind Farm near Lilly, Cambria County. No one was injured during the mishap in mid-March, but pieces of the blades flew more than 500 feet, according to residents.
7 May 2007

Wind farm at a standstill

Whatever is causing turbine blades made at Gamesa Energy USA near Ebensburg to splinter should be known within weeks, a company representative said Wednesday. Meanwhile, the startup of the Allegheny Ridge Wind Farm - which will become Pennsylvania's largest wind farm - will be on hold until the blade investigation is completed, Ellen Lutz, director of development for Gamesa's Atlantic Region, said Wednesday.
25 Apr 2007

Dartmouth windmill toppled by storm

DARTMOUTH - One of the many casualties of this weekend's storm was a windmill installed by former state Rep. Mark A. Howland. Arthur Larrivee paid Mr. Howland $16,000 for a windmill and solar panel system for his home at 620 Tucker Road and received everything he asked for: two windmills atop 35-foot-high poles, four solar panels and electrical equipment to convert the power generated into electricity. But on Monday morning, he woke to find that the steel poles of one windmill had snapped clean off about 4 feet above the ground, leaving the windmill lying on the ground. "I honestly couldn't believe it," said Mr. Larrivee, a real estate broker and Republican activist. "It had to be a flaw in the piping."
19 Apr 2007

Problems at wind farm could derail acquisition

An Australian company that wants to buy a Cambria County wind farm might walk away if it's not determined what caused seven turbine blades to crack and large pieces of two blades to fly off. The problems at the Allegheny Ridge wind farm are a serious concern, said Neal Emmerton, regional asset manager for Sydney-based Babcock & Brown. Gamesa, the Spanish firm that developed the facility, has been paid, but the deal won't be final until the blade issues are resolved, he said.
5 Apr 2007

Trade association: ‘blade problems are rare’

Wind-energy experts say incidents such as the splintering of two blades and cracks in five others produced at Gamesa's Cambria Township factory are rare. The American Wind Energy Association views the problem as a fluke, an anomaly that turned up in a time-proven industry involving a highly respected company. "We haven't heard of anything like this before. There have been thousands of blades installed, and this is a first," said Christine Real-de-Azua, spokeswoman for the wind energy national trade association, based in Washington, D.C. "Offhand, this doesn't seem like a big issue. We haven't heard of any other problems."
24 Mar 2007

Turbine blades broken: Manufacturer Gamesa Corp. says wind farm plans on hold until solution is determined

The Allegheny Ridge Wind Farm's phase one startup has been put on hold because some of Gamesa's locally made blades are chipping apart. Gamesa officials, who met with Portage and Washington township officials Wednesday for the go-ahead on a second phase, said they found issues with seven blades after realizing two of them splintered on the towers. They had hoped to have the first phase online by the end of the month. "The structure of the blade was intact in most places ... it somehow split open and fell," said Alberto Gros Isla, the plant's manager. It wasn't the blades that fell; rather, it was a "thin fiberglass skin" that coated them, he said. One piece stretched the length of the 147-foot-blade, and another was at least 20 feet long, Gros Isla said.
22 Mar 2007

Strong Wind Uncovers Weaknesses - Wind energy installations grew at a record pace in 2005. With the extension of production tax credits, the wind industry is in a boom cycle. However, challenges still buffet the industry.

To continue its rapid growth, wind energy must overcome some major hurdles in the next few years. Market development in the United States is strongly dependent on the federal PTCs, which for now must be periodically renewed by Congress.
1 May 2006

Rancher describes experiences associated with wind farms

Rose Bacon, member of the Governor's Energy Task Force and a rancher who owns property in the Flint Hills, spoke about the vulnerability of communities facing proposals from international companies that want to build commercial wind farms in rural areas. She pointed to the lack of “teeth” in regulations, and the attractive tax write-offs granted to wind energy companies, and the inexperience of local officials in dealing with such monstrous deals, depicting a state-wide scenario akin to the “wildcatter days in the oil business.”
1 Nov 2005

Rancher describes experiences associated with wind farms

Rose Bacon, member of the Governor's Energy Task Force and a rancher who owns property in the Flint Hills, spoke about the vulnerability of communities facing proposals from international companies that want to build commercial wind farms in rural areas. She pointed to the lack of “teeth” in regulations, and the attractive tax write-offs granted to wind energy companies, and the inexperience of local officials in dealing with such monstrous deals, depicting a state-wide scenario akin to the “wildcatter days in the oil business.”
1 Nov 2005

http://www.windaction.org/posts?location=USA&p=24&topic=Structural+Failure&type=Article
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