What are the risks of ‘BREAKing Blades’ on wind turbines?

The wind industry’s principal insurer, GCube, has released its first ever  “insider” report on losses and claims called “Breaking Blades”.  Among the report’s findings are that “with an estimated 700,000 blades in operation globally, there are, on average, 3,800 incidents of blade failure each year.  Lightning strikes are still one of the most common reasons for failure.  The report explains that the first strike often impairs the lightning protection system such that the second strike can destroy the blade.  In some cases, corrosion protection is insufficient causing detachments of blades from the main hub assembly and, in some cases, causing third party liability claims from human injury.  Vibration is also cited as an ongoing reason for blade failure.  Farmers should consider these risks when agreeing to allow the industrial machines on their property, and then farming the ground beneath them. In Maine, FirstWind is seeking permission to use turbines that are 574 FEET TALL. How safe would you feel inside of a tractor beneath those blades?…

…GCube says an estimated 700,000 blades are in operation globally and there are on average 3800 incidents of blade failure each year, which can currently cost up to $1m to resolve.

“As the wind industry looks to attract secondary investment from the pension and fund management communities, blade failure and the associated business interruption costs can be an unwelcome deterrent,” said GCube business development leader Jatin Sharma.

“Ultimately, it’s in the interests of all parties to minimise unscheduled downtime and the frequency and severity of turbine failure. The Breaking Blades report is by no means an answer to the problem but should serve to raise further questions and create opportunities for greater industry-wide collaboration.”

via GCube fix for blade breaks – Onshore Wind | ReNews – Renewable Energy News.

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