There is so little we know about wind turbine accidents, until this event in October of 2013 happened that took the life of two young mechanics. Since then, all misfortunes related to wind turbines have been uncovered.
But how did that incident trigger the underrated statistics? The simplest answer: it compromised safety measures.
The two men, only 19 and 21, were burnt on top of a wind turbine in Deltawind’s Piet de Wit wind farm in the Netherlands. Both were 80 meters above ground, doing routine maintenance only for the fire to trap and chase them in the end.
“Because of the height, the fire department initially had trouble extinguishing the fire in the engine room,” says the Netherlands Times. It said that the fire broke out in the afternoon with help, in the form of a large crane, coming in the evening backed with a group of firefighters.
But everything was too late. The fire caught the two. One of them fell to the ground while the other was recovered at the top.
If it’s any consolation, two other mechanics on duty were able to survive the wrath of such an accident.
A short circuit was deemed to be the cause of the accident according to Deltawind, but they still weren’t sure.
The turbine involved was a 1.75 megawatt Vestas V-66, which is coincidentally being sold online. Buyers may or may not have the idea that risks in buying these turbines. This is where the riot began for accidents in the wind industry.
It was discovered that there are actually wind turbine accidents happening but are rather not being given attention. The “wind turbine fire” Google alert had enabled this to be a hot topic, especially for Vestas.
In 2011, the company had a wind turbine fire but was blamed on a brake problem. The next year, a Vestas V-112 wind turbine in Germany caught fire, and pointed to the fire on a loose connection that caused an arc flash. This is other than the arc fire that happened in Vestas V-90 turbine in Spain upon maintenance.
Not only that: in 2012, there was also a Vestas turbine that collapsed in Ireland. Bad news kept on coming as in 2013, the company’s V-80 wind turbine in Canada also burned.
And that’s just Vestas. Gamesa, a Spanish manufacturing company principally involved in the fabrication of wind turbines and the construction of wind farms, were also involved in severe wind accidents.
That includes the 2009 fire in Iberdrola’s Locust Ridge project, and the 2012 fires in Iberdrola’s Barton 2 Wind Power Project in Iowa, and the North Allegheny Ridge.
Both companies have been given warnings on faulty models back in the late 1990s and early 200s. The continuing accidents just prove that they have not shaped up their turbines.
Source: Wind Action