Proven 35-2 falls to the ground ...

NEOH
NEOH Solar Expert Posts: 74 ✭✭
Within two years after installation, one of the three Proven 35-2 Wind Turbines installed at our Local High School came loose and crashed to the ground. It landed outside of the fenced off "Fall-Zone" behind the school. Is that huge liability or what?

http://www.wkbn.com/mostpopular/story/Wind-Turbine-Crashes-to-Ground/qOtvyFiIpES61PiKDMPmCQ.cspx

$400,000 paid for 3 Turbines, 3 Towers & 3 Inverters to generate $5,600 worth of electricity per year?

First, the turbines are down for warranty repair for 6 months and now we cannot even keep them bolted to the towers.

Comments

  • solarvic
    solarvic Solar Expert Posts: 1,071 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: Proven 35-2 falls to the ground ...

    NEOH, I saw that news story on channel 21 also. You must not be too far from me. I think it was same day that there was another story on wind turbines. In one of the muninipalitys there was a man that they had charges against him for shutting down the turbine at thier munsipal office building. I think it might have been Lordstown but not sure. Did you see that story? :Dsolarvic:D
  • Slappy
    Slappy Solar Expert Posts: 251 ✭✭✭✭✭✭
    Re: Proven 35-2 falls to the ground ...

    I really like the part at the end where the one of the crew workers was using channel lock pliers to check the bolts on the "still standing towers" :confused:

    But thank goodness that no one was hurt.
  • XRinger
    XRinger Solar Expert Posts: 529 ✭✭✭
    Re: Proven 35-2 falls to the ground ...

    $400,000 ?? Seems like that could buy a pantload of PV panels..
    If you got them in at $10/watt, that's 40kw of PV juice.
  • russ
    russ Solar Expert Posts: 593 ✭✭
    Re: Proven 35-2 falls to the ground ...
    Slappy wrote: »
    I really like the part at the end where the one of the crew workers was using channel lock pliers to check the bolts on the "still standing towers" :confused:

    But thank goodness that no one was hurt.

    I noticed that too - must be a real experienced crew - well maybe they are experienced at something like McDonalds.

    I never even carried channel locks with me while climbing towers. I would expect those to be high tensile strength fasteners - not what you use pliers on.
  • solarvic
    solarvic Solar Expert Posts: 1,071 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: Proven 35-2 falls to the ground ...
    NEOH wrote: »
    Within two years after installation, one of the three Proven 35-2 Wind Turbines installed at our Local High School came loose and crashed to the ground. It landed outside of the fenced off "Fall-Zone" behind the school. Is that huge liability or what?

    http://www.wkbn.com/mostpopular/story/Wind-Turbine-Crashes-to-Ground/qOtvyFiIpES61PiKDMPmCQ.cspx

    $400,000 paid for 3 Turbines, 3 Towers & 3 Inverters to generate $5,600 worth of electricity per year?

    First, the turbines are down for warranty repair for 6 months and now we cannot even keep them bolted to the towers.
    NEOH, Did you see the news today from WKBN? Another wind turbine down this weekend at Deer field ohio at an individual owners home? Maybe you might want to post that news story too. Some metal broke and let the turbine fall off the tower. Don,t know if it was part of the turbine or part of the top of the tower that broke. Sure has been a lot of negative news storys in the Youngstown tv area. :Dsolarvic:D
  • BB.
    BB. Super Moderators, Administrators Posts: 33,404 admin
    Re: Proven 35-2 falls to the ground ...

    A second turbine takes a tumble in 40 mph winds in Deerfield OH (~2 year old installation).

    -Bill "ouch" B.
    Near San Francisco California: 3.5kWatt Grid Tied Solar power system+small backup genset
  • russ
    russ Solar Expert Posts: 593 ✭✭
    Re: Proven 35-2 falls to the ground ...

    Come on guys! This is the super clean, super cheap and super great green power source you are talking about.:cry:

    Wind turbines are probably the most likely of all types of energy producing units to have severe failures. I suppose wave turbines would be even worse.

    Shade tree mechanic types don't realize the loads placed on the turbine located on top the tower and the loads/stresses on the tower plus foundation.

    As there is no 'code' to be followed to many installations (including occasional industrial) that are just plain not designed where they have a good chance to last.

    Russ
  • Windsun
    Windsun Solar Expert Posts: 1,164 ✭✭
    Re: Proven 35-2 falls to the ground ...

    This seems to be much more common that you would think. Long list of failures here http://www.windaction.org/news/c48/

    The vast majority - as you would expect - are mechanical failures, not electrical on that list. But a Google image search for wind turbine failures got 1000's of results (many duplicates however).
  • NEOH
    NEOH Solar Expert Posts: 74 ✭✭
    Re: Proven 35-2 falls to the ground ...

    June 14, 2011 - Followup article "Wind Turbine Crash at Western Reserve School"
    (This article states that "a Blade toppled" but the TV video clearly showed that the entire damaged nacelle with some pieces of twisted blades still attached had crashed to the ground. Also, the reporter states "145-foot Wind Turbine" when it is really a "145-foot Tower".)

    ...

    Local school officials met with prosecutors to discuss whether to take legal action against a Scotland-based wind-turbine manufacturer.

    On April 10, a blade toppled from on one of three 145-foot wind turbines on the campus of Western Reserve High School. All three were shut down pending an inspection by Proven, the manufacturer of the turbines.

    Superintendent Charles Swindler said the company hasn’t yet admitted the problem was their fault, so the district administrator met with Mahoning County prosecutors last week to discuss filing a suit against them, as well as Tri County Towers of North Jackson — which was contracted by Proven to install the turbines in 2009.

    Proven, founded in 1980, has 3,500 small-scale wind turbines in 60 countries, according to the company’s website.

    Swindler said the turbines cost $450,000: $165,000 was paid for through a grant from the Ohio Department of Development. The Ohio School Facilities Commission paid for about $153,900, and the school was responsible for the remaining $131,100.

    “Tri County’s involvement is because they have the contract, but there’s equal responsibility by the wind-turbine company [Proven],” Swindler said. “The problem will be getting Proven to take responsibility.”

    Don Duda, assistant Mahoning County prosecutor, said he’s currently reviewing the case.

    “I’m reviewing the contracts and the obligations of the parties to determine the rights and responsibilities under those contracts,” he said. “Once the review is done, it will be up to the client to determine the course of action.”

    Swindler said the turbines are under a five-year warranty from the manufacturer. In the two months the turbines have been inoperable, the district has lost about $24,000 in energy costs, he said.

    He said the district saves money by generating energy during off hours and selling it back to FirstEnergy Corp.

    “All we’re asking is that they replace all of the blades with new ones and [to provide] compensation for energy lost,” he said.

    The compensation will be determined by a formula based on wind speed and Kilowatt hours.

    Swindler said the turbines were installed in 2009 and ran with no problems. It was only after a blade came off of a turbine in Scotland that issues arose, he said.

    “In my opinion, they overreacted by taking down all of the turbines worldwide and replacing all of the hinges,” he said.

    The hinges open and close on the blades enabling them to twist at different angles as the wind blows.

    “About four months after they were reinstalled, we started to see a vibration,” Swindler said.

    Swindler said the turbines were shut down at the beginning of April, and several days later the wind blew one of the blades off of a tower.

    “Greg Budd, general manager of Tri-County Towers, said he can’t say for certain what caused the malfunction until his company hears back from Proven.

    “The parts were sent to Scotland for inspection,” Budd said. “We’re waiting to hear what they feel is the cause of the failure.”

    Swindler said though the district will lose money until the turbines are fixed, he’d rather see the job done properly.

    “The sooner the better, but I’d rather they be done right and safely, rather than have them do it quickly just to get it done,” he said.
  • niel
    niel Solar Expert Posts: 10,300 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: Proven 35-2 falls to the ground ...

    reimbursement for down time?

    good luck with that one. it's tough enough just getting a turbine company to admit fault.
  • BB.
    BB. Super Moderators, Administrators Posts: 33,404 admin
    Re: Proven 35-2 falls to the ground ...

    Story from working (and flying) old WWII and earlier aircraft... Over the years, there have been component failures on old biplanes and others--and people were blaming age/maintenance/etc.

    Somebody did a real engineering analysis (insurance?) and figured out--it was simply under-designed for the stresses applied (these were the wires that stabilize the wings and tail feathers).

    My guess--it will turn out that the parts are under-designed for the loads applied (and, possibly the wrong materials chosen/used).

    -Bill
    Near San Francisco California: 3.5kWatt Grid Tied Solar power system+small backup genset