Irony Alert: Weather Destroys Weather Dependent Power Source – Lightning Incinerating Wind Turbines

The wind industry and those that promote it look more ridiculous, by the day. An entirely weather dependent power source, abandoned a couple of centuries back for pretty obvious reasons, exhibits all the resilience of a snowflake in summer.

The irony that some ordinary old meteorological phenomenon (wind, rain and lightning) can easily knock wind turbines out of the game is, no doubt, lost on the wind cult. Surely, these incidents must be the result of some evil fossil-fuelled conspiracy?

When Hurricane Maria visited Puerto Rico last year, she managed to splatter wind turbine blades all over the island, leaving residents completely powerless: Weather Dependent Wind Power: Leaves Hurricane Victims Powerless

A typhoon in Taiwan did much the same:

Earlier this year in Ireland, a bolt from the blue smashed the blades of one of these whirling wonders to smithereens:

The self-immolation these things experience is so common that we could dedicate a separate site to these exhilarating and photogenic moments in our ‘inevitable transition’ to nature’s wonder fuels.

The crowd-pulling pyrotechnics depicted below might be seen as a reasonable substitute for the fun and games of bonfire night, but to locals it’s just another terrifying aspect of life after these things get speared into their backyards.

The incineration of a toxic cocktail of hydraulic oil (around 1,000 litres thereof), plastics, metals (like aluminium and copper) and fibreglass composites (around 10-12 tonnes worth in each of its three 45-55m blades) would, no doubt, prompt sensible mothers to drag their brood indoors to escape the poisonous plume.

The irony being that, yet again, it’s a natural phenomenon that brought this high-tech example of modern power generation to its knees; and locals fleeing for their lives.

A £1 million wind turbine – erected 11 years ago- is being allowed to burn itself out after being struck by lightning in the early hours of today.
Wisbech Standard
Ben Jolley
30 May 2018

Fire crews are at the scene of the blaze at Ransonmoor wind farm near Doddington.

Former fireman David Oldale, who woke up this morning to receive a phone call from his daughter who lives in a farm house next door to the wind turbine, said: “I would leave it it’s too dangerous, I’d let it go.

“It started in the motor room where the turbine is at several hundred feet.

“It’s gradually burning down the tower; all the bits are dropping off.

“The fire crews are still here and I think they are going to let it burnt out, because there’s nothing else they can do really.”

One woman wrote on social media: “I can see it from my house, probably the lightning storm.”

Cambs Fire and Rescue crews are currently at the scene.

Ransonmoor wind farm is located in the Fens of Cambridgeshire.
Wisbech Standard

Could power generation be any safer, cleaner or greener?

5 thoughts on “Irony Alert: Weather Destroys Weather Dependent Power Source – Lightning Incinerating Wind Turbines

  1. If the turbine blade is not electrically conductive, it does not provide a path to ground for lightning.

    Failures of wind turbines could be due to many causes, of which lightning is only one. Others include electrical faults, mechanical and lubrication faults, wind damage causing structural damage, imbalance of blades, including due to damage to individual blades, harmonics, underestimation of loads due to wind, structural underdesign, construction mistakes and more.

    Informed public debate is essential, thus there needs to be full disclosure and independent assessment of wind turbine failures.

    A lazy way is to wait for the insurance industry (eg through NFPA or Standards Australia’s design standards) to realise the risks and release industry-wide assessments and standards associated with wind, solar (especially rooftop solar) and batteries, especially in domestic buildings.

    Solar PV on domestic roofs is overdue for similar technical and statistical review of failures and causes, including leaky roofs and fire-related costs. My impression is that they are substantial and will happen.


  2. More excellent news. Does anybody understand lightning conductors? I suppose the tip of the blade is the highest point which needs the conductor, but that would mean passing the lightning current through a bearing which would not be capable of transmitting the current without causing damage – probably fatal for the whole installation. Could a knowledgeable windmill engineer answer this query?

  3. What happens when rent seekers and carpet baggers get a whiff of free subsided government money. As long as the wind mill lasts until the poor screwed power users get their pockets emptied by into the shysters bank account in the Caymans then who cares.

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