Articles filed under Structural Failure

Maintaining the wind turbine revolution

In an informal survey of 75 wind farm operators in the United States conducted by Frontier Pro Services, many respondents indicated they had fallen behind on scheduled preventive maintenance such as oil changes and gearbox lubrication because of a shortage of qualified technicians. According to Frontier, the survey found many wind farm operations and maintenance teams are so resource-constrained that they can barely keep up with unscheduled breakdown repairs to wind turbines. ..."Damage caused by worn out or compromised gear oil can be irreparable," said Frontier Pro Services lead technical advisor Jack Wallace, who has been servicing wind turbines for more than 20 years. "You can really see that it makes no sense to put off needed oil changes."
20 Aug 2008

60% of turbines may be behind in critical maintenance

Frontier Pro Services of Banning, California conducted an informal survey of approximately 75 wind farm operators in the United States. Designed to assess the specific operation and maintenance service needs of wind energy operators, the survey reveals potentially serious threats to wind farms owing largely to the industry-wide shortage of qualified turbine technicians.
4 Aug 2008

Damaged wind turbine blades under repair

Repairs have started to a giant wind turbine between Sheffield and Rotherham after it was knocked out by a gale. A crack was spotted in the blades of one of two turbines yards from the Sheffield Parkway during high winds last month. A special failsafe device cut in to prevent further damage - and the crippled blades were allowed to fall to the ground. Since then, investigations have been going on into the damage at the Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre, where the University of Sheffield operate the two turbines.
28 Jul 2008

Repair is in the air at Bluegrass Ridge; Wind turbine maker finds flaws in blades, calls for refurbishing

The Gentry County wind farm's turbines are undergoing refurbishment in a national retrofitting program initiated after manufacturer Suzlon Energy Limited found cracks in the blades of its S-88 wind turbines. ...The national retrofit program calls for the strengthening of 1,251 wind turbine blades, 930 of which had been installed by March, according to a press release. During repairs, Suzlon will employ temporary replacement blades to minimize the time wind turbines stand inoperable.
12 Jul 2008

Strong gusts slowing wind turbine repairs

High winds are making it difficult to repair wind turbines at East Point in Prince Edward Island. Six of 10 turbines on the site were shut down recently when problems developed in their gearboxes. One turbine has been repaired, but strong winds are making it difficult to work on the other five. The axis of the turbine is about 50 metres above ground, and a special crane had to be transported to the site to assist the work. ..."Once in a while you get a component failure, and we've obviously got six of them. The Vestas company that builds these are a very reliable company."
29 May 2008

Windmills lose blades in high winds

The strong winds that buffeted the Tokai and Kanto regions Tuesday apparently snapped the massive blades of two wind turbines ...Each windmill is 103.5 meters tall, and can generate 1,500 kilowatts. Turbines No. 4 and No. 5 each lost one of their three 37-meter-long blades.
9 Apr 2008

Deadline for firm in wind farm row

E.ON has been given 21 days to repair a broken wind turbine at Lowca in Cumbria or face enforcement action. Copeland Council says the firm has breached planning approval by leaving the turbine unrepaired. The wind turbine has not worked for 14 months and site operator E.On had agreed to repair it by the end of February. ..."It's no good putting conditions down and not doing anything when they are not fulfilled. They have gone way over the time limit by eight months. It's time we took some action."
27 Mar 2008

Suzlon to replace defective equipment worth $25 million

In what implies a Rs.1 billion ($25 million) hit on its balance sheet for the current quarter, leading wind power equipment-maker Suzlon Energy will refit wind turbine blades for a project in the US, the company said Monday. “The company will do a retrofit programme to resolve blade-cracking issues discovered during the operations of some of its S88 turbines in the US,” the company informed the Bombay Stock Exchange Monday.
3 Mar 2008

Flaws deal a blow to wind power generation

A wind turbine set up in March 2006 was touted as the answer to energy problems in Iga, Mie Prefecture. The clean energy would supplement the power supply for radio relay facilities of a land ministry office that records water levels of the upper reaches of the Kizugawa river. But there was one problem. The wind turbine fell apart in less than two years. Malfunctions and accidents involving wind turbines have occurred repeatedly across the country, leading to suspended services and even the scrapping of one facility. Amid rising oil prices, wind power generation is gaining attention as a means to use limitless natural energy. However, slipshod surveys of wind, flawed designs or sheer incompetence have dealt a blow to the reputation of wind turbines, which are easier and cheaper to construct than other electric power generation facilities.
19 Jan 2008

Safety fears as turbines toppled

Campaigners are welcoming an inquiry into the safety of wind turbines after two came crashing down. The manufacturer behind some of the largest wind turbines planned for use in the North-East is conducting an internal review to find why two of its structures buckled in high winds and collapsed. The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) has launched an investigation but is awaiting the results of the company's own review before it decides what action to take. The first turbine collapsed in Scotland last November, followed by a second collapse near Dalston, Cumbria, last week. ...Wind farm campaigner John Ferguson, from Northumberland group Save Our Unspoilt Landscape, welcomed the inquiry. He said: "If there is a risk, then it is important we find out now rather than when the turbines are in operation. "The British Wind Energy Association and others seem to brush over the risk here, but these are serious safety concerns.
12 Jan 2008

Wind turbine collapse prompts inquiry

An inquiry has been launched after Cumbria's oldest wind turbine collapsed. The 100ft structure near Hesket Newmarket crashed down in what may be a first in the 29-year history of harnessing wind energy. The 11-tonne turbine had been producing power for the J Stobart & Sons animal feed mill at Newlands for the last 19 years. It collapsed, narrowly missing a country road, while the plant was operating. No-one was hurt.
4 Jan 2008

Crane moves in to mend turbine

A giant crane has moved next to Lowestoft's seafront wind turbine to carry out the delicate task of removing a damaged blade. A lightning strike during a thunderstorm on June 8 damaged the tip of a blade on the 120m landmark known as Gulliver. Although engineers had the blades spinning again the same day a subsequent maintenance inspection revealed there was a problem. For the past eight weeks Gulliver has been out of action awaiting the arrival of a crane big enough to be used to remove the damaged blade.
20 Dec 2007

Gear problems shut down windmills in Lackawanna

The windmills — officially called “Liberty 2.5 Megawatt wind turbines” — are the first of their kind to be used commercially. They brought national attention to Lackawanna for its creative reuse of an abandoned industrial site. The state-of-the-art turbines are so new that ClipperWind had anticipated a need for some tweaking here and there. But resolving the problem has been more difficult than expected. “This one’s a pain because you need a big crane,” acknowledged Bob Gates, ClipperWind senior vice president. The work is expected to take several months, Gates said. ...While the gear boxes are being replaced, Gates said a reinforcing bond will be applied to the fiberglass blades to prevent any major damage from tiny cracks that have developed on some.
13 Dec 2007

In hurricane, windmill blades could be danger for nuclear plant

The discussion on the proposed windmills on our coast seems to have ignored the serious potential of devastating damage that these structures could cause. Although they "would be designed to withstand hurricane-force winds" it is doubtful that they could be engineered to be completely secure in a Category 3-4 or 5 hurricane or a tornado. The blades of these turbines are designed to produce optimum benefits from the wind, which means to me that if they were detached in a hurricane or tornado, they would become lethal missiles that could slice through not only nearby homes, but would pose a grave danger to the nuclear power plant facilities as well.
11 Dec 2007

Wind Turbine Blade Update

It's one of the most visible sights in Madison County; one of the blades on the Fenner Wind Turbines broke in mid-November, and is still not fixed. ...They still don't know, what caused the blade to break; they say that this has happened at Fenner before, and hope to find out why once they're able to remove the blade.
7 Dec 2007

Wind Turbine Break ‘Isolated Occurence'

No word yet on what caused a blade to break apart on a wind turbine at the Waymart Wind Farm, Monday afternoon. Two blades on the three-bladed rotor remained intact, but one delaminated, meaning its fiberglass layers came apart. "This is on private property. No one was injured," says Steve Stengel, a spokesperson for FPL Energy which owns the wind farm. ...A total of 43 wind turbines line the Moosic Mountain Ridge. The 1.5 megawatt Waymart Wind Farm was completed in 2003.
6 Dec 2007

Wind turbine safety fear

If Eco2’s application is approved at a planning meeting on Tuesday, four 410ft turbines – amongst the tallest in Britain – will be built on farmland overlooking the village GAG spokesman Bob Slater claims the incident in Scotland last month raises serious safety issues. A 200ft high turbine bent in half in 50mph winds, leaving its blades on the ground. Mr Slater also cites an example in Germany when a 10-metre fragment of rotor blade was sent spinning 200 metres through the air.
6 Dec 2007

Investigation of Vestas V47 turbine turned over in Scotland

...a Vestas V47 turbine, commissioned in November 2001, turned over at Scottish Power's Beinn an Tuirc ...the investigation process is ongoing and until the root cause of the incident is firmly established, the HSE has suggested that some precautionary measures are implemented on Vestas' V47 and V52 turbines, e.g. turbine max. speed pause to be adjusted from 25 m/s to 15 m/s and auto reset parameters reduced from max ten to max five.
22 Nov 2007

Gulliver shut down for safety precaution

A lightning strike on the Lowestoft wind turbine has resulted in it being out of action for the past four weeks, it emerged yesterday. Although it suffered damage in a storm during the summer it has now been discovered that it has suffered minor damage to one of the tips and has been shut down for safety reasons. The giant 120-metre landmark, known as Gulliver, was hit during the thunderstorm on June 8.
21 Nov 2007

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