On one level, the images depicted in this video will provide many STT readers with a deep sense of satisfaction, tinged with joy, and bound with glee; or even what the Germans call “schadenfreude”: the malicious glee that comes from witnessing another’s downfall.
On another level, for those poor souls stuck with these mechanical monsters in their backyards it is a reminder of just how insanely dangerous they are. Next time a smarmy developer or Planning Department lacky starts blathering about setback distances, take them to this video and ask them where they think all the pieces ended up and how far away they fell?
The developers and turbine manufactures use the euphemisms “blade throw” and “component liberation” to cover what is an explosive and frightening event posing a risk to human safety within distances of up to 1.5km.
STT has seen one serious study which uses statistics to predict the distances at which lumps from an exploding turbine can be expected to lob. The bigger heavier chunks are likely to travel well over 300m (whole blades traveling up to 200m) and the smaller pieces out to distances of up to 1,500m (for a 10% blade fragment – think 5m long blade chunks). Think about that the next time you drive past the turbines at Cullerin and Macarthur, some of which are less than 300m from the road you’re on. For more on what the wind industry calls “component liberation” see our posts here and here and here.
If one of these puppies lets loose, you’ll need more driving skill than Craig Lowndes to dodge the shrapnel. Good luck. Of course, if your home is in the “throw zone” we suggest you close the doors and windows and stay indoors. If you survive, you can thank your State Planning Department for the experience. And drop a line to the Feds and let them know what you think of the RET/REC fraud that put them up in the first place.