My Tower went down...

BrianellulBrianellul Solar Expert Posts: 95 ✭✭
Last December my tower (with an Air-X on top) went down after a force 9 gale storm (~80km/h). :cry: I'm putting this on this forum so people will realise the power that is exerted on the tower in high winds. As I've read somewhere... wind turbines are not for the faith hearted!
The top pipe was secured with three stainless steel guy wires (each covering 120 degrees). Unfortunately, one of the guy wires snapped leaving the pipe with little support. The pipe just bent as shown in the photos. Fortunately, the turbine suffered no damages except the blade tips broke when the turbine hit the base of the tower.
The turbine is back up and running after replacing the blades and the pipe. However this time I've supported the top pipe with six guy wires to allow for some redundancy in case one of the guy wires snaps again. :cool:

Regards
Brian

Comments

  • BB.BB. Super Moderators Posts: 26,666 admin
    Re: My Tower went down...

    You might also want to talk with a civil/structural engineer. Winds of that speed are not all that high (at least around here--that is around 47-54 mph).

    Did you increase the strength of the cable/fittings/attachments by 2-4x too?

    Interesting, looking at an archive of Malta's maximum measured wind gusts... The top is 39 knots, or 72 kph.

    It looks like you are blessed with relatively moderate peak wind speeds.

    -Bill
    Near San Francisco California: 3.5kWatt Grid Tied Solar power system+small backup genset
  • mike95490mike95490 Solar Expert Posts: 7,225 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: My Tower went down...

    Was it a homemade tower, or an engineered/store bought tower ?
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  • BrianellulBrianellul Solar Expert Posts: 95 ✭✭
    Re: My Tower went down...

    Yes I did increase the strength of the cable fittings, in fact I found a weak spot! Stainless steel wire is very hard to work with. On twisting the stainless steel cable to form a hook to attach to either the steel pipe or wall support hooks, I was decreasing the strength of the wire at the point of twisting due to the sharp twisting angle. I've therefore used marine stainless fittings (sorry don't know the name) to better twist the cable at the point it will attach to the hook.

    The tower is homemade, and maybe that's why it has some weak points since I didn't spend weeks to work out complex mathematical calculations to design it. It was built on other people experiences and common sense. I hope that after this bitter experience, it will survive these type of storms (or worst).

    Regards
    Brian
  • nielniel Solar Expert Posts: 10,311 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: My Tower went down...

    brian,
    sorry it fell and correct me if i'm wrong here, but from what i see your tower is fine as it appears that it was the mast that failed and brought down the turbine. i think your mast needs to be stronger and made to extend outward less to reduce the stress on it.
  • rickeolisrickeolis Solar Expert Posts: 110 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: My Tower went down...

    Welcome to the club! My first tower went down too after a freak wind storm rolled through that caused some people damage to their roofs. Like yours, mine snapped one of the guide wires too, not at the end, but right in the middle of the 14 foot wire. It smashed my truck's windshield and hood, and destroyed the blades.
    It's all up and running again but not near as high as before.
    Good luck!

    -Rick-
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