Library filed under Structural Failure

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

New offshore calamity for Vestas

Great Yarmouth, England. Vestas faces another offshore calamity with faulty turbines in the British Scroby Sands farm. Defects have been found in a bear­ing of the gearboxes of 18 of the 30 V80 machines, the president of Vestas Northern Europe, Tom Pedersen, has confirmed. This is only a year and a half after Vestas was in the headlines with serious flaws in its machines in the Horns Rev farm off the western coast of Denmark. The transformers and gener­ators of all 80 V80 turbines had to be dis­mantled and repaired on land - at a cost of millions for the world wind industry leader.Pedersen says as a precaution the rele­vant bearings will be exchanged in all 30 of the Scroby Sands turbines installed in 2003. No such problems were to be ex­pected with North Hoyle, the UK's first major offshore wind farm, inaugurated in November 2003, because the V80 ma­chines installed there have different types of gears, says Pedersen. But dam­age to bearings similar to that now found at Scroby Sands had occurred in some turbines in the USA and the cause is still being investigated, he added. In addition to the bearings, five generators have to be replaced in Scroby Sands. Pedersen said they'd be taken apart to find the cause. Vestas is lucky inasmuch as the repairs can be done at sea without the nacelles having to be taken down. Weath­er permitting, the repair campaign is to be completed shortly."This is no new Horns Rev," assures Ves­tas man Pedersen. But it's still a bad time for his company to be in the news again with damaged components. As recently as the end of November, Vestas shocked its investors with yet another profit warn­ing, explained as partially due to quality flaws in the products of suppliers."Our philosophy 'failure is not an option' must also be implemented by our suppli­ers,"' Vestas CEO, Ditlev Engel, empha­sised in an interview with us a few weeks ago (new energy 6/2005). Now the res­olute manager can show sooner than he probably bargained for how he intends to assert that principle.
17 Feb 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

On The Dangers of Ice & Structural Failure at the Proposed Wachusett Reservation Windfarm

On_the_dangers_of_ice___structural_failure_thumb "Today, the task before the Joint Committee (regarding Bill S40) is to hear from the public on what would appear simple - the giving and taking of “driveway” easements between the Commonwealth’s Wachusett Reservation (Stagecoach Trail) and the Town of Princeton’s legal “right of way” for its wind power site. As well, the town is offering the to transfer to the Commonwealth, ownership of, five acres of their 16-acre wind site. I urge the Joint Committee for Bill S40 to carefully consider the following with regard to your recommendations an for easement exchange and accession of land from Princeton: 1. The Wachusett Wind Site is a 16 acre parcel wholly surrounded by the Wachusett Reservation and flanked within few feet, on three sides, by the well traveled Midstate, Harrington and Stagecoach trails. This portion of the state park is accessible and popular. 2. The present eight windmills are 120-feet high and are proposed to be replaced with two windmills as high as a 35- story building and with blades that stretch as wide as a football field - windmills whose elevation will come with 150- feet of the mountain’s elevation. 3. In the wintertime Wachusett experiences unusual ice storms in number and severity 4. In the wintertime, the windmills accumulate ice - then release it when it melts and falls, when it is blown off by wind or is thrown it off by the rotating blades 5. This ice has put holes in the roofs of utilty buildings on the wind farm and scattters itself across the fully accesssible wind site, the state reservation and hiking trails, threatening state park viisitors The risk associated with being struck windmill ice can be quantified and is relative to one’s distance from the windmills and will increase geometrically with the proposed windmills. 6. Windmills and wind data collection towers at Wachusett have structurally failed five times in twenty years on the Town of Princeton (PMLD) site. This also threatens the state park visitors as well with collapsing metal structures and flying blades. Proposed windmills and data towers will not be installed in compliance withthe manufacuturer’s recommendations and safety warnings."......
5 Jul 2005

Wind Power Facility Siting Case Studies: Community Response

National_wind_coordinating_committee_siting_studies_thumb BBC Research & Consulting's 2005 report for the National Wind Coordinating Committee that studies 9 wind plant sitings in an effort to identify circumstances that distinguish welcomed projects from projects that were not accepted by communities.
1 Jun 2005

Damaged Turbine Crystal Rig wind farm near Dunbar (1)

Damage_crystal_rig_thumb Britain The Times April 16, 2005 Wind farm fears as blade snaps By Katrina Tweedie A TURBINE at a Scottish wind farm has broken down after one of its blades snapped off. The 10-tonne turbine, one of 31 at the £80 million Crystal Rig wind farm near Dunbar, East Lothian, was destroyed last week when a mechanism to stop it spinning too fast failed. Onlookers reported strong winds and said one of the turbine blades flew off and hurtled into the countryside. The 60ft high steel turbines are designed to withstand wind speeds of up to 60 miles per hour and owners, Fred Olsen Renewables, denied the breakdown was wind related. A spokesman said they were investigating the cause and that there had been little risk to people at the remote wind farm. The turbines from German firm Nordex were installed in August 2004. It will cost an estimated £1.25 million to repair. Anti-wind farm campaigners said the incident confirmed their fears about the danger of blades flying off wind turbines. David Bruce, of the pressure group Scottish Wind Assessment Project, said: “There were high winds so the turbines were ‘feathered’, or locked so they couldn’t spin round. It was lucky nobody was walking below. This is only about the second incidence of this in the UK but it shows this is possible.”
1 Apr 2005

Damaged Turbine Crystal Rig wind farm near Dunbar (2)

Turbinedestroyedinscotlandjun05_thumb Britain The Times April 16, 2005 Wind farm fears as blade snaps By Katrina Tweedie A TURBINE at a Scottish wind farm has broken down after one of its blades snapped off. The 10-tonne turbine, one of 31 at the £80 million Crystal Rig wind farm near Dunbar, East Lothian, was destroyed last week when a mechanism to stop it spinning too fast failed. Onlookers reported strong winds and said one of the turbine blades flew off and hurtled into the countryside. The 60ft high steel turbines are designed to withstand wind speeds of up to 60 miles per hour and owners, Fred Olsen Renewables, denied the breakdown was wind related. A spokesman said they were investigating the cause and that there had been little risk to people at the remote wind farm. The turbines from German firm Nordex were installed in August 2004. It will cost an estimated £1.25 million to repair. Anti-wind farm campaigners said the incident confirmed their fears about the danger of blades flying off wind turbines. David Bruce, of the pressure group Scottish Wind Assessment Project, said: “There were high winds so the turbines were ‘feathered’, or locked so they couldn’t spin round. It was lucky nobody was walking below. This is only about the second incidence of this in the UK but it shows this is possible.”
1 Apr 2005

Typhoon Maemi downs wind turbines - Japan

Typhoon-maemi_thumb Typhoon Maemi struck Miyakojima Island on September 11, 2003 with an average wind speed of 38.4m/s and a maximum gust of 74.1m/s, recorded at Miyakojima meteorological station. All six wind turbines operated by Okinawa Electric Power Company were extensively damaged. Two Micon M750/400kW turbines collapsed by the buckling of the towers and one Enercon E40/500kW turbine turned over due to the destruction of the foundation. The other three experienced broken blades and damaged nacelle covers.
11 Sep 2003

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