Author Topic: Wind turbine misshaps  (Read 4932 times)

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Offline TerraHertz

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Wind turbine misshaps
« on: April 28, 2018, 12:57:40 am »
http://notrickszone.com/#sthash.sv0N8vzN.dpbs
“Massive Damage”…Large-Scale Engineering Debacle Threatens As North Sea Wind Turbine Breaks Apart!
Extract:
Quote
Due to unknown reasons, the 3.5-tonne housing unit protecting the generator came undone and plunged some 90 meters into the sea. As a consequence, Bremerhaven-based turbine manufacturer Adwen has suspended operation the 5-MW fleet in the German North Sea. Technical crews are not even allowed near them until further notice – that includes 120 other turbines at two other wind parks.

The Alpha Ventus wind park is operated by energy producer EWE, which pegs the financial losses resulting from the damage at 40,000 euros daily.

Potential multi-billion euro engineering debacle

Wind industry group WAB director Andreas Wellbrock said the housing ripped away earlier this month. When shown images of the damage by an NDR reporter, Wellbrock was speechless, stating it was something he had never seen before. The turbines had been inspected 2 years earlier, and approved for further operation.

Heli-video here: https://www.ndr.de/fernsehen/sendungen/hallo_niedersachsen/Alpha-Ventus-Was-hat-zum-Absturz-gefuehrt,hallonds43908.html



If you're a skeptic of large scale wind power generation, you'll be aware of the many entertaining images around of spectacular wind turbine failures.
Here's a new category of funny - the back part just fell off. Sadly, no one got a video of the event.

Let's have a thread for collecting instances of large wind turbines crashing and burning. They are a lot of fun.
Not necessarily going into the whole EROEI issue, but feel free to if you want.


Just substitute 'back' for every time he says 'front'.
« Last Edit: April 28, 2018, 01:19:40 am by TerraHertz »
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Online Kleinstein

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Re: Wind turbine misshaps
« Reply #1 on: April 28, 2018, 07:45:18 am »
There a quite a few such large wind turbines in Germany. As the technology is still rather new and developing fast it is normal that there a few failures and some of them are spectacular.

From the German video, they suspect a failure of some connectors, possibly due to corrosion or fatigue. The part that fell of is likely mounted as a separate part and thus only connected with a few screws or bolts. So this failure might look odd, I don't think this is anything serious, more like odd one of a time failure that maybe results in small upgrade of the same type of units.

In our neighborhood we had a turbine that caught fire and burned the housing and one blade. As those turbines are usually on an open field nothing else got damaged. This sometimes happens, but that is kind of normal if the rate is not that high. If not it's over-engineered. With something like 1 failure a year with a few 10000 units this is not that bad, given that there usually is no personal damage, and the damage usually limited to the turbine.
 

Offline Red Squirrel

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Re: Wind turbine misshaps
« Reply #2 on: April 28, 2018, 12:38:56 pm »
Better than an oil spill or nuclear melt down.  Wind is still safe despite these types of incidents.
 
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Offline TerraHertz

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Re: Wind turbine misshaps
« Reply #3 on: April 28, 2018, 12:56:37 pm »
I didn't say wind power is dangerous. Just prone to hilarious failures.

https://www.rt.com/viral/354988-wind-turbine-smoke-spirals/   (includes video.)

Search on youtube for 'wind turbine on fire'
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Offline Jeroen3

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Re: Wind turbine misshaps
« Reply #4 on: April 28, 2018, 03:44:28 pm »
Wind turbines are new, and often government funded projects, specific accident causes will be kept under the table. As those are not improving the political environment.

In 2013 two young engineers died due to a fire in a wind turbine.
Being near the industry, I know there are major problems in the wind turbine industry, because it is not a very profitable industry for those who own them.
For example, many engineers do not take their evacuation rope with them. And there isn't supposed to be much material around to cause such a fire. Suggesting lack of maintenance and oil and grease sud build-up.
Yet, the cause was put on "short circuit", in january this year.

There are plenty of accidents with wind turbines though:
http://www.caithnesswindfarms.co.uk/AccidentStatistics.htm
 

Offline ahbushnell

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Re: Wind turbine misshaps
« Reply #5 on: April 28, 2018, 03:59:28 pm »

There are plenty of accidents with wind turbines though:
http://www.caithnesswindfarms.co.uk/AccidentStatistics.htm
Looks like the death rate is higher than the nuclear industry. 
 

Offline Jeroen3

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Re: Wind turbine misshaps
« Reply #6 on: April 28, 2018, 04:11:46 pm »
It works the same as with planes vs cars. With cars you have lots of accidents with low death toll. But one plane crash can crush those numbers.
Many accidents in wind or solar installation and maintenance can be crushed by one nuclear incident.

The fukushima nuclear incident had 1368 deaths "related to the nuclear power plant" according to wikipedia.

Statistics tell you nothing here.
 

Offline GerryBags

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Re: Wind turbine misshaps
« Reply #7 on: April 28, 2018, 04:52:17 pm »
They still haven't come up with a decent way of keeping the salt out of the gearboxes, among the other problems with the electrical side of things. Even 150m up, a storm in the North Sea can easily kick up enough spray to that level to test all of the UV baked seals and to gradually reduce the effectiveness of the lubricants. Apparently there have also been problems with shorting transformer windings.

Here's an interesting read on the effects of the environment on turbines: https://community.dur.ac.uk/supergen.wind/docs/presentations/4th_Seminar_Presentations/PaulHogg.pdf
 
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Offline IanMacdonald

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Re: Wind turbine misshaps
« Reply #8 on: May 02, 2018, 07:29:42 am »
The high capacity factor of offshore wind (~40%) makes it more attractive than onshore, but it remains to be seen how long they will last. The sea is remarkably good at destroying anything that isn't built strong enough.  :box:

As for the OP, I can image one of the installers saying, "I did wonder what the extra box of bolts was for."
« Last Edit: May 02, 2018, 07:33:10 am by IanMacdonald »
 

Offline hackinblack

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Re: Wind turbine misshaps
« Reply #9 on: May 17, 2018, 07:08:27 pm »
i'm in the process of claiming on my house insurance for storm damage to the roof; the insurance company clowns tell me the winds weren't strong enough at the time; to which i pointed out...

https://www.thelocal.fr/20180102/wind-turbine-blown-down-by-wind-in-western-france

i'm still wating for their reply.
 

Offline oldway

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Re: Wind turbine misshaps
« Reply #10 on: May 18, 2018, 11:48:15 am »
The high capacity factor of offshore wind (~40%) makes it more attractive than onshore, but it remains to be seen how long they will last. The sea is remarkably good at destroying anything that isn't built strong enough.  :box:

As for the OP, I can image one of the installers saying, "I did wonder what the extra box of bolts was for."
 
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Offline gildasd

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Re: Wind turbine misshaps
« Reply #11 on: May 22, 2018, 11:56:44 am »
They still haven't come up with a decent way of keeping the salt out of the gearboxes, among the other problems with the electrical side of things. Even 150m up, a storm in the North Sea can easily kick up enough spray to that level to test all of the UV baked seals and to gradually reduce the effectiveness of the lubricants. Apparently there have also been problems with shorting transformer windings.

Here's an interesting read on the effects of the environment on turbines: https://community.dur.ac.uk/supergen.wind/docs/presentations/4th_Seminar_Presentations/PaulHogg.pdf

The simple solution by certain manufacturers is to remove the gear box, direct drive the rotor, only two bearings to grease once year at most.
I'm electronically illiterate
 

Offline Jeroen3

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Re: Wind turbine misshaps
« Reply #12 on: May 22, 2018, 05:23:22 pm »
The bearing have automatic lubrication iirc.
Someone just needs to scoop up the old stuff regulary.
 

Offline janoc

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Re: Wind turbine misshaps
« Reply #13 on: May 22, 2018, 06:02:26 pm »
i'm in the process of claiming on my house insurance for storm damage to the roof; the insurance company clowns tell me the winds weren't strong enough at the time; to which i pointed out...

https://www.thelocal.fr/20180102/wind-turbine-blown-down-by-wind-in-western-france

i'm still wating for their reply.

If there was such a storm, you should be able to get this:
http://services.meteofrance.com/e-boutique/attestations-certificats/certificat-intemperie-detail.html

That's the official document the insurance has to accept.
 
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Offline JohnMoosenl

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Re: Wind turbine misshaps
« Reply #14 on: June 20, 2018, 04:57:06 am »
"As the technology is still rather new"
Well no.
We have been building these ugly ass monsters for more than 30 years now, and the construction of a nacelle or tower is nothing new.
Its only new for those who haven't been looking.
Wind power is basically on its last legs. Nothing spectacular can be expected.
The laws of physics can not be beat, not even by these things.
Its time we remove them and put our efforts in something that doesn't litter the landscape, has way more energy density, doesn't kill birds or people or their communities and break them financially by increasing energy prices sky high, and supplies power 24/7.
73, PD4KBZ
 
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Offline Marco

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Re: Wind turbine misshaps
« Reply #15 on: June 20, 2018, 05:27:52 am »
It's done wonders for German industry though ... the Germans get to give their industry free electricity and it isn't even seen as unfair industry subsidy.

Mercantilism disguised as environmentalism.
 

Offline Jeroen3

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Re: Wind turbine misshaps
« Reply #16 on: June 20, 2018, 05:41:01 am »
Wind energy is not free. The building, maintaining and dismantling make up the cost.
 

Offline Marco

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Re: Wind turbine misshaps
« Reply #17 on: June 20, 2018, 05:45:00 am »
That doesn't really matter, they increase electricity prices for normal consumers and lower them for industrial consumers.

Classic mercantilism, decrease consumption, increase production. It's a good way to build (or maintain) industrial base, as long as you beggar thy neighbour the hardest.
 

Offline ahbushnell

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Re: Wind turbine misshaps
« Reply #18 on: June 21, 2018, 03:00:34 pm »
"As the technology is still rather new"
Well no.
We have been building these ugly ass monsters for more than 30 years now, and the construction of a nacelle or tower is nothing new.
Its only new for those who haven't been looking.
Wind power is basically on its last legs. Nothing spectacular can be expected.
The laws of physics can not be beat, not even by these things.
Its time we remove them and put our efforts in something that doesn't litter the landscape, has way more energy density, doesn't kill birds or people or their communities and break them financially by increasing energy prices sky high, and supplies power 24/7.
What technology would you recommend.  I like nuclear using newer technologies.
 

Online Kleinstein

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Re: Wind turbine misshaps
« Reply #19 on: June 21, 2018, 08:05:16 pm »
Nuclear tends to be too expensive. Despite advanced control parts costs went up the last decades.

From the pure cost for the energy produced wind can be cheap at good positions. The only problem is that wind is not 24-7, though often better than solar. So wind can only provide a part of the power. In most areas the good positions for wind power are limited anyway.

Nuclear tends to have the opposite problem - if not running 24-7 the price will go up even more: thus too much power in times of low demand. So if at all nuclear might provide a small contribution.

I would expect a combination of different sources to be the way to go. I see no single good source - wind, solar and water depend on the location.
 

Offline b_force

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Re: Wind turbine misshaps
« Reply #20 on: June 21, 2018, 10:31:41 pm »
There a quite a few such large wind turbines in Germany. As the technology is still rather new and developing fast it is normal that there a few failures and some of them are spectacular.
New?
I did a research project on wind turbines, that was almost 10 years back.
But wind turbines have been around since the 80s and 90s.
I don't call that new anymore.


There are plenty of accidents with wind turbines though:
http://www.caithnesswindfarms.co.uk/AccidentStatistics.htm
Looks like the death rate is higher than the nuclear industry. 
The whole issue with nuclear power plants is purely based on subjective fears, blown up b the media by people who are completely ignorant about the subject (NOFI)
If you look at the facts the amount of accidents compared to any other type of energy plant is extremely small.
There is not a single physicists I know of, who is saying it is bad in any way.
Only the nuclear waste is a tiny bit tricky to handle, but if you wait for a few years, it's totally gone.
A lot of physicists I know are also very skeptic about wind energy.
I even did a ton of calculations myself, and (very unfortunately) you just can't get away with wind turbines and solar farms.
It's also very far from being CO2 neutral, since all these need to be backed up by smaller gas turbines (at this moment).
Bear in mind that being skeptical doesn't mean not believing in it, there is always an opening to debates.

As always, I never understand when new "hip" technologies are being put underneath a big magnifying glass.
By definition every solution has its pros and cons and accidents will happen.
Put if you want to compare them, compare them fair, which is unfortunately seldom be done properly.
I haven't seen anything spectacular about this "news" item.
In fact, in the older days wind turbines were way worse, since they didn't have an automatic braking system.
So it wasn't that uncommon that they caught on fire completely.

What would be the solution?
Well, if you just do some math, I think the only harsh solution is, cutting half of the population.
On top of that using A LOT less energy than we do at this moment.
Unfortunately that goes right against many people morals and economic believes.
In the end everything will settle to some kind of equilibrium eventually.  8)
It's just a matter of time.
« Last Edit: June 21, 2018, 10:39:50 pm by b_force »
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Online NiHaoMike

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Re: Wind turbine misshaps
« Reply #21 on: June 22, 2018, 12:09:23 am »
Nuclear tends to be too expensive. Despite advanced control parts costs went up the last decades.

From the pure cost for the energy produced wind can be cheap at good positions. The only problem is that wind is not 24-7, though often better than solar. So wind can only provide a part of the power. In most areas the good positions for wind power are limited anyway.

Nuclear tends to have the opposite problem - if not running 24-7 the price will go up even more: thus too much power in times of low demand. So if at all nuclear might provide a small contribution.

I would expect a combination of different sources to be the way to go. I see no single good source - wind, solar and water depend on the location.
The technology to adapt demand to supply (more like some way to communicate supply information to the loads) has existed for decades and has become almost absurdly cheap as of the last few years. What doesn't currently exist is a standard to make it happen.
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Offline Marco

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Re: Wind turbine misshaps
« Reply #22 on: June 22, 2018, 03:58:01 am »
Almost no one consumer will be interested in switching off loads, absent some ridiculous price differentials. Bitcoin miners and aluminium smelting are the only big consumers I can think off which could be swayed to switch off their load in real time with reasonable changes in electricity prices.

Unless you want to just go "fuck poor people, being able to use electricity at every time of the day is a luxury for the rich" I don't think it does much good otherwise.
 

Online NiHaoMike

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Re: Wind turbine misshaps
« Reply #23 on: June 22, 2018, 04:06:56 am »
There are already some programs that work like that.
https://www.ohmconnect.com/

I think more focus should be put on turning loads *on* during off peak times, if it's such that it can reduce use at other times. A lot of those would be thermal in nature - dedicated freezers and water heaters being two loads that are very well suited for that. Those take advantage of thermal inertia that already exists. HVAC can also be adapted to take advantage of thermal storage, and that covers the biggest residential loads in most homes.
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Offline f4eru

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Re: Wind turbine misshaps
« Reply #24 on: June 22, 2018, 02:19:24 pm »
Quote
Almost no one consumer will be interested in switching off loads
Not true.
Old-style dual-meter with switching gear are used by a portion of normal people in some areas, especially for electric heating, washing machines, water heaters, etc...

With the rise of "intelligent metering", connected gear and electric cars, this will become so easy to set up and common that a lot of people will use it to save a lot on the electricity bill.

Potential applications in residential is really huge, the biggest power and energy consumers can be shifted in time quite easily to optimize the grid and electricity bill:
1) Electric car charging
2) Water heaters
3) Washing machines
4) Fridge optimization (using thermal energy storage of the fridge itself by allowing some temperature variation during peak hours)
5) the same on A/C and ventilation?

We still need to set some interface and communication standards on this...
« Last Edit: June 22, 2018, 02:21:06 pm by f4eru »
 
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