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Electronics => Power & Renewable Energy => Topic started by: TerraHertz on April 28, 2018, 12:57:40 am

Title: Wind turbine misshaps
Post by: TerraHertz on April 28, 2018, 12:57:40 am
http://notrickszone.com/#sthash.sv0N8vzN.dpbs (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 (https://www.ndr.de/fernsehen/sendungen/hallo_niedersachsen/Alpha-Ventus-Was-hat-zum-Absturz-gefuehrt,hallonds43908.html)

(https://www.eevblog.com/forum/renewable-energy/wind-turbine-misshaps/?action=dlattach;attach=418780;image)

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.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3m5qxZm_JqM (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3m5qxZm_JqM)
Just substitute 'back' for every time he says 'front'.
Title: Re: Wind turbine misshaps
Post by: Kleinstein 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.
Title: Re: Wind turbine misshaps
Post by: Red Squirrel 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.
Title: Re: Wind turbine misshaps
Post by: TerraHertz 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/ (https://www.rt.com/viral/354988-wind-turbine-smoke-spirals/)   (includes video.)

Search on youtube for 'wind turbine on fire'
Title: Re: Wind turbine misshaps
Post by: Jeroen3 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 (https://gineersnow.com/industries/renewables/two-mechanics-died-wind-turbine-fire-helped-wind-industry) 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" (https://www.om.nl/actueel/nieuwsberichten/@101835/strafrechtelijke/), in january this year.

There are plenty of accidents with wind turbines though:
http://www.caithnesswindfarms.co.uk/AccidentStatistics.htm (http://www.caithnesswindfarms.co.uk/AccidentStatistics.htm)
Title: Re: Wind turbine misshaps
Post by: ahbushnell on April 28, 2018, 03:59:28 pm

There are plenty of accidents with wind turbines though:
http://www.caithnesswindfarms.co.uk/AccidentStatistics.htm (http://www.caithnesswindfarms.co.uk/AccidentStatistics.htm)
Looks like the death rate is higher than the nuclear industry. 
Title: Re: Wind turbine misshaps
Post by: Jeroen3 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 (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fukushima_Daiichi_nuclear_disaster_casualties).

Statistics tell you nothing here.
Title: Re: Wind turbine misshaps
Post by: GerryBags 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
Title: Re: Wind turbine misshaps
Post by: IanMacdonald 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."
Title: Re: Wind turbine misshaps
Post by: hackinblack 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 (https://www.thelocal.fr/20180102/wind-turbine-blown-down-by-wind-in-western-france)

i'm still wating for their reply.
Title: Re: Wind turbine misshaps
Post by: oldway 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."
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m2LeNBY_5gk (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m2LeNBY_5gk)
Title: Re: Wind turbine misshaps
Post by: gildasd 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.
Title: Re: Wind turbine misshaps
Post by: Jeroen3 on May 22, 2018, 05:23:22 pm
The bearing have automatic lubrication iirc.
Someone just needs to scoop up the old stuff regulary.
Title: Re: Wind turbine misshaps
Post by: janoc 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 (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 (http://services.meteofrance.com/e-boutique/attestations-certificats/certificat-intemperie-detail.html)

That's the official document the insurance has to accept.
Title: Re: Wind turbine misshaps
Post by: JohnMoosenl 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.
Title: Re: Wind turbine misshaps
Post by: Marco 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.
Title: Re: Wind turbine misshaps
Post by: Jeroen3 on June 20, 2018, 05:41:01 am
Wind energy is not free. The building, maintaining and dismantling make up the cost.
Title: Re: Wind turbine misshaps
Post by: Marco 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.
Title: Re: Wind turbine misshaps
Post by: ahbushnell 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.
Title: Re: Wind turbine misshaps
Post by: Kleinstein 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.
Title: Re: Wind turbine misshaps
Post by: b_force 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 (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.
Title: Re: Wind turbine misshaps
Post by: NiHaoMike 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.
Title: Re: Wind turbine misshaps
Post by: Marco 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.
Title: Re: Wind turbine misshaps
Post by: NiHaoMike on June 22, 2018, 04:06:56 am
There are already some programs that work like that.
https://www.ohmconnect.com/ (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.
Title: Re: Wind turbine misshaps
Post by: f4eru 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...
Title: Re: Wind turbine misshaps
Post by: Seph.b on June 23, 2018, 01:06:11 am
I have always dreamed of real-time electricity pricing via higher frequency data on top of the 60Hz. Each cycle can have its own pricing data encoded in it. I think that would lead to a real flattening of electrical demand as 'smart' appliances can be set to run at certain price points and people that are interested in renewables/batteries could have more control over when they sell their power.

I know that will never happen though. 
Title: Re: Wind turbine misshaps
Post by: ahbushnell on June 23, 2018, 02:07:04 am
Quote
Almost no one consumer will be interested in switching off loads
Not true.


We still need to set some interface and communication standards on this...
Standards are nice but you can run things on a timer.  A friend of mine lives by himself and he has a timer on his water heater that turns it on a few hours before he get's up and heats the water for his bath.  and then shuts off. 

Saves on his energy bill even without have time of day  metering.
Title: Re: Wind turbine misshaps
Post by: Kleinstein on June 23, 2018, 11:33:29 am
A timer is a first step and was the old way to get more demand at night from too much non flexible power stations (e.g. nuclear, coal). With the renewables there is no fixed time pattern on when there is plenty of supply. At least in Germany wind energy is higher during the day and solar naturally if low at night. So with the current mix it is no more predictable at what time of day there will be too much or too little energy available.

So it needs a more flexible way to control the usage and pricing.  I think the technical aspect is the smallest here - the more difficult part is to find an acceptable (consumers and legislation) pricing model. Installing smarter meters is a first step, though at the current speed it likely only the 3rd generation of meters that will be really useful für flexible pricing.
Title: Re: Wind turbine misshaps
Post by: IanMacdonald on July 01, 2018, 12:10:16 pm
"Installing smarter meters is a first step"

No thanks. You can keep your Green Marxist Party spies out of my house.
Title: Re: Wind turbine misshaps
Post by: Raj on July 01, 2018, 01:13:55 pm
Can't compair it to nuke energy.
A single nuclear plant might have way more man hours and money invested into it,since investors know its dangerous.
While wind turbines sounds like child's science project done on a large scale,thus they don't get a chance to buy better materials for it.The engineers can't ask for space age materials since they can't afford it.
Title: Re: Wind turbine misshaps
Post by: gildasd on July 02, 2018, 04:40:35 pm
I tend to disagree.
While modern wind turbines are not over engineered as a nuclear plants, they are far from shabby.
The ones I have worked on (various North Sea projects) are designed to need only minor maintenance every 5 year and greasing every year. With overhaul not before 20 years (but expected at 25) - in a marine environment!
The kinds of steels and alloys for the mechanicals are better than what is found in main engines, themselves made to already pretty high standards...
Title: Re: Wind turbine misshaps
Post by: SeanB on July 02, 2018, 05:34:13 pm
Aluminium smelter, along with ferrochrome and  other electric arc furnace types, are not the load you can turn off fast or easy. Turn off the power for over 5 minutes and you will be spending a lot of money to strip the furnace out, move the 20 tons of solidified metal and slag to a corner of the plant ( as in move the whole furnace and the solid chunk inside it) and build a new pot in place of it. Then you have to break up the block of metal and glass, and dispose of it.

Power companies that supply smelters have a multi page contract for power, and there are massive penalties for unscheduled interruptions, and the power company will load shed pretty much every other customer before they will drop that smelter. Turning off a pot line is going to take a week, ramping down the feed and the pool of molten metal to the point where you can handle the blob when you switch off and it cools down. You only do that when you are relining the unit or upgrading it.
Title: Re: Wind turbine misshaps
Post by: CatalinaWOW on July 02, 2018, 05:46:16 pm
You just can't overestimate the social resistance to smart meters.  They are being installed in my area at this time and facing strong resistance from folks stating their fears of the cancer risk from the RF link and the fire danger from the meters.  Apparently one (one!) of a previous model from the same manufacturer did catch fire and that has been magnified into an across the board fear that they will all go up in smoke.

The fears are so strong that people are paying a one time ~$200 opt out fee, and a monthly $34 fee for manual meter reading at their location.

With this reaction to smart meters it is no wonder that nuclear, which does have real but modest risks, excites so much resistance.
Title: Re: Wind turbine misshaps
Post by: rsjsouza on July 02, 2018, 06:08:12 pm
I agree. About ten years ago when smart meters started to be installed where I live, a public outcry started due to much higher energy bills arriving at the end of the month. There was a massive PR battle that tried to explain Eddy currents and averaging and, in the end, the power company had to review plans to upgrade existing meters due to the massive backlash - all new constructions use smart meters, though.
Title: Re: Wind turbine misshaps
Post by: Miyuki on July 03, 2018, 07:39:08 pm
Here (Czech) always was "night current" and used to be almost for free decades ago, now it is not so cheap as you have to pay renewable support fee from it and significantly increase its price
No need for high end equipment to use, can be used even with dual mechanic meter or of course modern digital one
It send codes over power line and simple receiver at user to switch contactors

In most tariffs switching should not occur more than half an hour or hour (common are 8, 16 and 20 hours day), also street lights can be controlled this way
Title: Re: Wind turbine misshaps
Post by: schmitt trigger on July 03, 2018, 07:59:40 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.

Just like a previous poster has already asked, I am also going to ask: What is your proposed alternative?

The thing is, every single energy-producing technology has its unique set of pitfalls. No technology is 100% safe and no 100% environmentally friendly. No technology is absolutely free.
Choices have to be made.
 
Personally, I believe the better strategy is to have an energy basket comprised of different technologies. Some fossil-fueled, some nuclear, some renewables (which includes wind).

The actual mix is highly dependent on your actual geographical location and your marketplace. An optimal solution for Iceland would be totally different to a solution for Saudi Arabia.
Title: Re: Wind turbine misshaps
Post by: Marco on July 03, 2018, 09:23:35 pm
Southern latitude PV, HVDC and 10+ TWh level storage tech. PV has basically no limit to cost reductions in sight, the storage tech is the problem. Wind will likely never drop below fuel cost for a fossil fuel plant (ie. never become economically interesting without subsidy).

You can't chip away at the problems with all these piecemail solutions which can only every solve a tiny part even if combined. It's just a waste of money to bet on so many lame horses. We don't need a mix, we need something that scales. Anything which can't scale (either in cost or magnitude) let it stand on it's own legs, either it's economical or it's not (most of the time not).
Title: Re: Wind turbine misshaps
Post by: jmelson on July 05, 2018, 10:49:01 pm
You just can't overestimate the social resistance to smart meters.  They are being installed in my area at this time and facing strong resistance from folks stating their fears of the cancer risk from the RF link and the fire danger from the meters.
Yes, and of course, these same people hold a cell hone against their head while worrying over a transmitter tens of feet away that sends a short signal every couple hours!

Jon