Articles filed under Structural Failure from Nova Scotia
With large chunks of burning nacelle components and melting fibreglass blades falling from 80 metres above, there wasn’t much the West Pubnico Fire Department could do when a wind turbine fire was reported the afternoon of March 15.
Firefighters were at the scene quickly but could do little to battle the flames, West Pubnico fire Chief Gordon Amiro said. When the blades turn, the tips are more than 100 metres in the air — too high to fight the fire from the ground.
Firefighters were unable to get close enough to put the fire out directly because of the turbine's height and movement of the blades -- and it couldn't be turned off with the gearbox on fire. "It was too dangerous to get close to it," Amiro said. "Because of the length of the blades and the blades were turning, you didn't know where they were going to go when they fell."
"We couldn't get nowhere near because the blades was still turning, so, and pieces was breaking off the blades," he said. "So if a piece was to fall off, it would go a long ways with the wind and that. So it wasn't safe to go nowhere near the tower at all."
Enercon's email did not elaborate on the hub's damage. However, documents from the Labour Department regarding a subsequent stop-work order said a hub assembly was damaged in a "bearing failure" in March 2016. On Aug. 17, workers tested the turbine's lightning-protection system, which required positioning the blades so they pitched into the wind.
Lotta Schmidt said “a combination of factors” led to the collapse, but despite being asked several times to specify what those factors were she declined to elaborate. “The fact that it’s not a design or a technical issue allows us to be confident that it’s not something that can happen at other sites.
"If it's too windy, then maybe it's not the right place for it [the turbine]," said Doreen Aucoin. "Because it is close to houses and I imagine the people up the hill ... they must have been scared because it was right near to their house."
The province’s energy minister says setback regulations are in place to protect the public and neighbouring landowners should wind turbines fall, as has happened twice in Cape Breton in the past five months.
It’s shattered it to pieces, blown apart by a south easterly wind, it was blown to pieces — incredible power. -- Pierre Chiasson
People in the Grand Étang area of Nova Scotia's Inverness County tweeted photos and video of a wind turbine, whose main trunk was snapped clean in two, with the leftover blade apparatus lying at its base.
Wednesday afternoon, flat-bed trucks were seen entering the wind farm to retrieve shipping containers used to transport equipment and tools to the site. There is no timeline for when the investigation will be complete.
Two investigations has been launched into the collapse of an 80-metre wind turbine in Cape Breton, believed to be the first catastrophic failure of its kind in Canada.
One week after an 80-metre wind turbine collapsed in Cape Breton, there is still no clear indication of what caused what's believed to be the first catastrophic failure of its kind in Canada.
Enercon said the incident occurred on 17 August during a "scheduled component exchange".
When D’Eon, who lives near the Pubnico Point Wind Farm, came outside to investigate what he heard, he saw that one of the blades on a turbine was “in distress.”