Our post – Happenstance or Enemy Action? Giant Wind Turbines Collapsing with Alarming Regularity – was barely up a week, and yet another story of a 290 tonne whirling juggernaut crashing back to Earth popped up in Sweden.
This time, another vertically vulnerable Vestas hit the deck – a V112 with three 54.7m blades, weighing in at 11 tonnes a piece, the hub at 45 tonnes (the hub and blades together weigh in at 78 tonnes), the nacelle and its contents – bearings, gearbox, generator etc at more than 80 tonnes – bringing the earth-shuddering total weight at the top-end to a massive 158 tonnes.
Add a 90m tower – weighing 130 tonnes – and the whole whirling, Danish Dervish weighs in at more than 288 tonnes. The Saturn V Rocket that sent Neil Armstrong & Co to the Moon weighed in at a comparatively svelte 239.7 tonnes, without its fuel payload. So, little wonder these things have problems with – among other natural forces – gravity.
In one of our glee-giving favourite videos it’s the wind (combined with a failed yaw control) that delivers the coup de grace for this exploding Vestas ‘planet-saver’:
Fire (spontaneous combustion), wind and gravity have taken their toll on these things all over the Globe – with fatal results, snuffing out over 160 lives, so far; a fair bit sooner than the victims expected.
The following comes from the Caithness Wind Information Group’s Summary of Wind Turbine Accident data to 30 September 2015:
“Our data clearly shows that blade failure is the most common accident with wind turbines, closely followed by fire. This is in agreement with GCube, the largest provider of insurance to renewable energy schemes.
In June 2015, the wind industry’s own publication “WindPower Monthly” published an article confirming that “Annual blade failures estimated at around 3,800”, based on GCube information. A GCube survey in 2013 reported that the most common type of accident is indeed blade failure, and that the two most common causes of accidents are fire and poor maintenance. http://www.gcube-insurance.com/press/gcube-top-5-us-wind-energy-insurance-claims-report/
Number of accidents
Total number of accidents: 1781
Number of fatal accidents: 116
Please note: There are more fatalities than accidents as some accidents have caused multiple fatalities.
Of the 162 fatalities:
95 were wind industry and direct support workers (divers, construction, maintenance, engineers, etc), or small turbine owner/operators.
67 were public fatalities, including workers not directly dependent on the wind industry (e.g. transport workers). 17 bus passengers were killed in one single incident in Brazil in March 2012; 4 members of the public were killed in an aircraft crash in May 2014 and a further three members of the public killed in a transport accident in September 2014.”
Now, this time in Sweden, it’s a Vestas V112 that’s plummeted back to earth – crashing across a well-travelled country road, without warning – no doubt unnerving neighbours with a sensation clocking somewhere on the higher end of the Richter Scale.
Vestas V112 collapses in Sweden
28 December 2015
A Vestas V112 3MW turbine has collapsed at Stena Renewable’s 96MW Lemnhult wind farm in Sweden.
The company said the machine failed during the morning of 24 December and that the wind farm’s other 31 turbines were shut down immediately as a precaution.
No one was injured in the incident, a technical investigation is underway and local authorities and other stakeholders have been briefed.
“It is now currently known how long the investigation will take,” said Stena.
Oil spilled during the accident is being cleaned up and “there is no signficant risk of environmental damage”, added the company.
A spokesperson for Vestas said: “Service technicians and technology experts have been on site together with the customer’s operational experts and have begun the process of determining what caused the incident.”
He added that incidents involving structural integrity are very rare. “We have not experienced a megawatt-class turbine collapsing before. The main priority at this point is to determine the root cause.
“We will need to await more definitive results from metallurgical and other tests before being able to determine the cause.”
Local reports said the accident took place at around 9am with fire crews attending that afternoon.
Lemnhult was built staring in 2012 with full operations kicking off in 2013.
A third-party video image of the felled turbine has been posted online:
Good to see Vestas keeping up the company line about these things being as safe as houses; and so environmentally friendly that the Earth can’t wait to hug their 290 tonne hulks right back.
Although, feeling that kind of ‘green-love’ is, no doubt, a little easier when they’ve smashed to the deck – in a dozen 25 tonne toxic chunks, over an area bigger than a football field. When we say toxic, we mean it: the blades are full of Bisphenol A, a highly toxic substance, banned in most western countries on health grounds. And that’s just one of the reasons blades can’t be recycled and are dumped, instead, as toxic waste.
And glad to hear that 1,170 litres of gear oil, 100+ litres of hydraulic fluid and a cocktail of other chemicals are going to help nourish Gaia with lots of organic, home-grown goodness.
During the Senate Inquiry into the great wind power fraud, a couple of wind industry primed stooges from Victoria’s Country Fire Authority made the derisory claim that the tonne of gear oil and other nasties on board were “non-combustible” (see our post here). For more V112 stats, you’ll find Vestas specs here: Vestas V112 specs
That pile of twaddle was fed to the CFA dimwits that fronted the Senators by none other than …. yep, you guessed it – Vestas.
At Macarthur in Victoria, AGL speared 140 Vestas V112s into the backyards of dozens of farm houses; and dozens of them line the local roads – many within 100m or so. The fury of neighbours, already angry at being belted by incessant turbine generated low-frequency noise and infrasound, can only rise, with their realisation that any one or more of these 290 tonne monsters is capable of collapsing in an instant; and without any warning, whatsoever.
And all that chaos, danger and destruction for an utterly meaningless power generation source.