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Perkins Schools turbines back up, but not running yet

Sandusky Register|Susan McMillan|August 31, 2009
OhioSafetyStructural Failure

When students pull into the Perkins High School parking lot today, they'll see three wind turbines in front of them, fully assembled for the first time since February. But the blades aren't turning yet, and Perkins Schools superintendent Jim Gunner said the school will proceed cautiously in getting the system back up to full capacity. The original 6-meter blades, some of which blew off during an especially windy day in February, are gone.


PERKINS TWP. -- When students pull into the Perkins High School parking lot today, they'll see three wind turbines in front of them, fully assembled for the first time since February.

But the blades aren't turning yet, and Perkins Schools superintendent Jim Gunner said the school will proceed cautiously in getting the system back up to full capacity.

The original 6-meter blades, some of which blew off during an especially windy day in February, are gone.

"Ultimately they weren't designed appropriately to withstand the wind conditions in this area," Gunner said.

He said ReDriven, the Canadian company that supplied the turbines, no longer works with the Chinese company that manufactured the blades and designed its own 6-meter blades that are now being tested.

Until those are ready, Perkins' turbines are using 5-meter blades based on a design in use for seven years, Gunner said.

Norman Sharp, a Campbell Street resident who watched the original blades come apart, said he watched crews put the turbines back up on Wednesday. He's not too ... more [truncated due to possible copyright]

     

PERKINS TWP. -- When students pull into the Perkins High School parking lot today, they'll see three wind turbines in front of them, fully assembled for the first time since February.

But the blades aren't turning yet, and Perkins Schools superintendent Jim Gunner said the school will proceed cautiously in getting the system back up to full capacity.

The original 6-meter blades, some of which blew off during an especially windy day in February, are gone.

"Ultimately they weren't designed appropriately to withstand the wind conditions in this area," Gunner said.

He said ReDriven, the Canadian company that supplied the turbines, no longer works with the Chinese company that manufactured the blades and designed its own 6-meter blades that are now being tested.

Until those are ready, Perkins' turbines are using 5-meter blades based on a design in use for seven years, Gunner said.

Norman Sharp, a Campbell Street resident who watched the original blades come apart, said he watched crews put the turbines back up on Wednesday. He's not too concerned about safety.

"They're a lot shorter and a lot heavier," he said, referring to the blades. "I can see the difference."

ReDriven also redesigned its control system and monitoring software. A new braking system will monitor the blades' speed at the tips and the turbines' internal temperature and shut them down if necessary.

Once engineers clear the turbines for operation, the school will run them at 70 percent capacity for a few weeks, then bump them up to 80 percent and gradually up to full capacity, Gunner said. The process will be repeated with the final blades once they're ready.

The turbines also will not run, initially at least, during football games and other times when the area will be crowded.

Gunner said school's accident in February is being studied throughout the wind-power industry.

"More and more municipalities and school districts, residential areas even, are looking at windpower as an alternative," he said. "Unless the industry can prove that what happened at Perkins isn't going to happen again, they're not going to install in those types of environments."


Source:http://www.sanduskyregister.c…

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