Articles filed under Structural Failure

Oil spill cleanup complete (Searsburg turbine)

When one of the 11 wind turbines at the Searsburg wind facility collapsed last month during wind gusts left over from Hurricane Ike, it spilled about 40 gallons of hydraulic oil and crankcase oil. The spill has since been cleaned up, the Agency of Natural Resources said. ...Tedesco said the turbines - blades, nacelle and tower - were designed to withstand winds of 100 miles an hour, and that the blade came off during a gust of wind measuring around 66 miles an hour on Sept. 15, tail winds from Hurricane Ike. He said the winds hadn't even been high enough to trigger one of the turbine's built-in safety features.
17 Oct 2008

Strong wind destroys Searsburg wind turbine

A blade on one of the Searsburg wind power turbines flew off during a recent windstorm, hitting the tower the turbine sits on and destroying it. It is unclear when, or even if, the nonfunctioning turbine will be back to full capacity. It was one of 11 that make up the Searsburg project owned by Green Mountain Power. "We had some really strong winds coming through," said GMP spokeswoman Dorothy Schnure. "A blade failed and struck the tower."
15 Oct 2008

Blade failure and load monitoring

Series blade failures have once again hit the wind power industry in America, with specialist service firms now working flat out to remedy defects keeping brand new wind farms offline. Defective manufacturing, however, is only one part of the blade story. Industry understanding of more fundamental issues, such as how best to measure loads and their impact, is far from complete, as the second part of this article reveals
1 Sep 2008

Cable repairs put offshore wind farm back into production

Britain's first offshore wind farm - located half a mile off the Northumberland coastline - should soon be producing energy again after standing idle for more than two years. Green power company E.ON is on the verge of completing the installation of a new armoured cable which will allow the blades on the two turbines off Blyth to start turning again for the first time since early 2006.
30 Aug 2008

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
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