Articles filed under Structural Failure from UK

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

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

Bent double: Investigation begins to find out why turbine failed at Beinn an Tuirc

A 63-metre tall wind turbine bent in two at Beinn an Tuirc Windfarm last Thursday. In what has been described as ‘a catastrophic failure’ of the turbine, the tower section has folded in the middle smashing the blades and nacelle into the hillside. It is thought by those in the industry that this is the first time a turbine tower has ever collapsed in the UK and Vestas Celtic, which manufactures towers at its nearby Kintyre factory and Scottish Power owners of the farm have launched an inquiry to find out what went wrong with the Vestas V47 turbine.
16 Nov 2007

Collapse won't close isles wind farm

A SHETLAND wind farm will carry on operating despite the collapse of a turbine identical to the ones they are using. A 200 foot high Vestas V47 turbine was bent in half during storms at Scottish Power's 26 megawatt wind farm, at Beinn an Tuirc, in Argyll and Bute, last week. This site and two others owned by Scottish Power, in the Borders and Ayrshire, had their turbines shut down as a precaution until the cause of the problem is investigated fully by engineers. ..."The safest thing we can do unless otherwise advised by Vestas is to let these things work the way they are supposed to work. "Until we know what caused that turbine to fall over it would be almost dangerous to speculate."
12 Nov 2007

Three wind farms shut after collapse

Engineers were working over the weekend to investigate the collapse of a wind turbine which led to three Scottish wind farms being shut. The 200ft turbine at the Beinn an Tuirc wind farm in Argyll and Bute "bent in half" during heavy winds last week. ScottishPower, which owns the 26-turbine facility, has closed it while representatives of the company that manufacture Vestas V47 machines investigate the fault. Dunlaw wind farm, a 26-turbine base near Lauder in the Borders, and the 20-turbine Hare Hill facility, close to New Cumnock, Ayrshire, were also shut down as a precautionary measure.
12 Nov 2007

The Dangers of Wind Power

After the industry's recent boom years, wind power providers and experts are now concerned. The facilities may not be as reliable and durable as producers claim. Indeed, with thousands of mishaps, breakdowns and accidents having been reported in recent years, the difficulties seem to be mounting. Gearboxes hiding inside the casings perched on top of the towering masts have short shelf lives, often crapping out before even five years is up. In some cases, fractures form along the rotors, or even in the foundation, after only limited operation. Short circuits or overheated propellers have been known to cause fires. All this despite manufacturers' promises that the turbines would last at least 20 years.
24 Aug 2007

Gearbox fault halts wind turbines

Repair work is due to begin this week on a wind farm off the coast of Kent which has seen a third of its turbines grind to a halt since early December. Of the 36 turbines erected off Herne Bay - on the Kentish Flats - 12 have experienced gearbox problems. Four have been repaired but the others have been running at reduced efficiency pending a break in the weather. The Danish firm Vestas, which owns and maintains them, said the high failure rate was unusual.
29 Jan 2007

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
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