Meretricious: Plausibly significant but actually false and insincere; specious. Also, pretentious, deceptively pleasing but intrinsically rotten. From the Latin

meretrix: a prostitute.

Meretricity: 1. Electricity produced by meretricious machines that seek to convert wind energy into modern power. 2. Electricity subsidized by meretricious politics. See also oxymoron, since wind technology cannot, of itself, produce modern power, and crony capitalism, since wind subsides could not exist without it.



Wind Turbine Accidents – Slideshow

Wind Turbine Accidents

Steimke Wettendorf Obernholz 04.02.2011

Burning Wind Turbine in Portugal

That looks like a very expensive fire, good thing they didn’t sustain casualties from falling debris.

InvEnergy California Ridge Windfarm Turbine Failure

November 21, 2013


InvEnergyEarly this morning, there was a wind turbine failure at the California Ridge Wind Farm just north of Oakwood, Illinois near the Newtown Middle School location.

What we do know at this time is that blade debris was thrown an unknown distance InvEnergy2from the turbine, and residents described the incident as “sounded like loud thunder” and “sounded like two trains crashing”. Witnesses also state that the incident shook their whole house, somewhat similar to an earthquake.

InvEnergy workers are on site and have cleaned the debris from the surrounding field, dragging it up to the base of the turbine.

A few days ago during the power outage on November 18, 2013 caused by strong storms, InvEnergy did not have had a plan for lighting the tower safety warning lights (not lit or flashing during power outages), or that plan miserably failed this time.  The warning lights were inoperative from 5 PM till 9 PM.

This power outage and subsequent failure of the warning light system could have resulted in airplanes not seeing the turbines and crashing in to them. Thankfully that did not happen, but it is a subject that needs to be immediately addressed.

160-foot blade breaks off western NY wind turbine

November 18, 2013

ORANGEVILLE, N.Y. — A 160-foot-long blade has broken off a turbine at a western New York wind farm, but no injuries resulted from its plummet to the ground.

Hunters tell WIVB in Buffalo ( ) that it sounded like a cannon or thunderclap when the turbine blade broke off around 7 a.m. Sunday at the Orangeville Wind Farm in Wyoming County. They said they were about a half mile away.

Alissa Kinsky, a spokeswoman for in Invenergy wind power company, said the turbine blade broke during testing. The turbine is one of 58 installed at the wind farm last month.

Kinsky said all turbine operations have been suspended as a precaution and the company is working with General Electric, the turbine manufacturer, to determine what caused the accident.


Taming Turbine Fires Before They Start: It’s when, not if…

Author: Scott Starr
Volume: May/June 2011

According to reports, the cost of a fire that damages or destroys a wind turbine can be as much as $2 million. Property damage to the turbine, and nearby areas, from fires reported in the past decade ranged between $750,000 and $6 million.

Aside from the imminent hazards of a burning turbine, there is also the risk of sparks, embers, or debris falling to the ground and setting off a wildfire due to the remote location of many wind farms. Even if a turbine is not fully burned or damaged, or a potential fire doesn’t spread to the surrounding countryside, costs can be considerable. This was shown during a recent fire at a wind farm in California, which resulted in the loss of just one converter cabinet. Cost for replacement: $243,000, including parts and downtime.

Although the financial loss and costs of a fire might be the primary concern of any wind farm operator, pressures are building up from environmental groups and the concerned public in general. Turbine fires—and, particularly those that spread—should be a significant concern, affecting the planning stages of any project. To this avail, permitting might be more drawn-out, costly, and time-consuming process. Turbine manufacturers and wind farm operators are now, more than ever, becoming acutely aware of the costs, safety, and the environmental arguments in favor of effective fire detection and suppression. But what are the fire risks associated with wind turbines?

Technical equipment and combustible material are concentrated in the nacelle and, once a fire starts in a turbine, it can be fuelled by up to 200 gallons of hydraulic fluid and lubricants. The nacelle itself is constructed from highly flammable resin and glass fiber, and internal insulation can become contaminated by oil deposits, adding to the overall fuel load.

The most common cause of a turbine fire is a lightning strike—a risk that is heightened by the installation of taller and taller wind turbines. Turbines are now being built that are up to 320 feet high. They’re frequently sited in exposed and high-altitude locations. Globally, there are around 16 million lightning storms and approximately 1.4 billion lightning flashes every year. However, only 25% of these are cloud-to-ground (the remainder are either cloud-to-cloud or intra-cloud); yet, this still equates to the US being hit by between 15 million and 20 million ground strikes a year, according to the Colorado-based National Lightning Safety Institute.

The consequences can be judged from the following example. Recently, a wind turbine caught fire as a result of a lightning strike. Burning parts of the rotor blade, which had been struck, fell and caused a secondary fire in the nacelle—all at a cost of $200,000 and 150 days lost operation.

Mechanical failure or electrical malfunction can also trigger a fire as capacitors, transformers, generators, electrical controls, transmission equipment, and SCADA (Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition) systems all have the potential to catch fire. This risk is amplified when there are loose or broken electrical connections, or there is an overloading of electrical circuits. Braking systems pose a particularly high risk of fire. Overheating can cause hot fragments of the disc brake material to break off, rupturing hydraulic hoses, and resulting in the highly combustible hydraulic fluid being expelled under pressure and coming into contact with the hot disk brake fragments. Hydraulic pumps and connections can also fail, allowing the fluid to erupt into flames when it comes into contact with a hot surface.

A case in point was a fire where a slip-ring fan of a double-fed induction generator broke. Sparks were generated by the rotating fan impeller, which set the filter cabinet’s filter pad alight. The fire then spread to the hood installation, causing $800,000 worth of damage.

With the fire risk becoming greater as more turbines come into operation, the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) has added wind turbine and outbuilding fire protection standards to NFPA 850 (“Recommended Practice for Fire Protection for Electric Generating Plants and High Voltage Direct Current Converter Stations;” 2010 Edition). This provides fire protection recommendations for the safety of construction and operating personnel, physical integrity of plant components, and the continuity of plant operations. The revised 2010 edition includes detailed recommendations relating to wind turbine generating facilities.

Wind farms are usually built in isolated locations with restricted access, placing them beyond the prospect of immediate attention by the fire service. Even when emergency services are able to respond quickly, few have the equipment capable of firefighting at the height of modern wind turbines. The solution is an effective fire detection and suppression system. Such a system should be intrinsically safe, not require any external power that can fail or put the system out of operation, and it needs to be able to stop a fire precisely where it breaks out before it can do irreparable damage to the turbine or spread elsewhere. It also needs to be purpose-designed to contend with the vibration, dust, debris, airflow through the nacelle, and the extreme temperature variations. An effective system also has to be capable of providing 24/7 unsupervised wind farm protection.

Wind farm fires do happen, and many in the industry suspect that they occur far more frequently than statistics suggest. This is because a significant number of turbine fires go unreported due to their remote location. Emergency services are not always involved and there are no regulatory requirements to report related fire incidents. Hardly surprising, many insurers are becoming increasingly concerned, and the opinion of many can been summed-up by the following statement: “Fire. It’s not a matter of if, it’s a matter of when.” Better safe than sorry.

Scott Starr is the director of marketing at Scottsdale, Arizona-based Firetrace International. 

Wind turbine goes up in flames

von Dana Heide 28.10.2013


A wind turbine burned Sunday in Bördekreis in Sachsen-Anhalt. Firefighters stood by helpless, watching a million euros destroyed. It was not the first such event.


Düsseldorf. Es sind atemberaubende Aufnahmen, die im Bördekreis in Sachsen-Anhalt
entstanden sind. Ein Windrad steht in Flammen – und mehr als ein Dutzend Feuerwehrmänner stehen in
voller Einsatzmontur hilflos davor.

Nun ermittelt die Polizei nach der Ursache des Brandes – nach Informationen des MDR werde als Grund für den Brand ein technischer Defekt vermutet. Möglicherweise habe sich wegen der Orkanböen der Generator überhitzt. Den Sachschaden schätzte die Polizei auf 1,2 Millionen Euro. Bei dem betroffenen Windrad dürfte es sich um eine V66/1650 des dänischen Herstellers Vestas handeln.

Der Maschinenraum sei vollständig ausgebrannt und ein Rotorblatt stürzte brennend in die Tiefe, berichtet die örtliche Feuerwehr. Brennende Teile seien mehrere hundert Meter weit geflogen. Der Fall zeigt, wie wenig beherrschbar Brände an Windrädern sind – zumal die Anlagen eine immer größere Höhe erreichen.

Dead in fire wind turbine Ooltgensplaat

October 30, 2013


A wind turbine caught fire Tuesday afternoon in Ooltgensplaat on Goeree-Overflakkee, costing the lives of two mechanics.Four mechanics were at work in the wind turbine on the Mariadijk, about 80 meters above ground, Tuesday afternoon. By a cause, yet unknown, a fire started in the engine room.

wind turbines

Because of the height the fire department initially had trouble extinguishing the fire in the engine room. In the evening, a special team of firefighters went up with a large crane, and found the body of the missing man.

The cause of the fire is unclear. The identity of the victims has not been disclosed. The Inspectorate for Social Affairs, formerly the Labour inspection, commenced an investigation.

An eyewitness reported to RTV Rijnmond she saw two mechanics sitting on the tip of the turbine. She saw them jump through the fire toward stairs.

Letter to Premier Wynne and Ministers Dangers of Catastrophic Failure

April 9, 2013

Letter to Premier Wynne and Ministers,
In the early morning hours of April 2, 2013 there was a catastrophic failure of a wind turbine in the K1 Wind Project located in the Township of Ashfield-Colborne-Wawanosh (ACW) in the County of Huron.  This fire resulted in the visible destruction of the turbine hub and blades and the release of contaminant debris in a wide area beyond the actual site of the turbine itself (please see the attached shots of the destroyed turbine).  Mr. Dan Hayden, project manager for the K1 Wind Project, and Mr. Paul Wendelgass of the proposed K2 Wind Project, attended at the ACW Council meeting on the evening of April 2, 2013.  At that meeting Mr. Hayden made a presentation wherein he indicated that, on initial inspection, it was observed that the debris field extended from 100 to 200 metres from the site of the turbine itself.  He also stated that further inspection could show that the debris field extended beyond this distance.  He also advised that the attending fire department confirmed that they were unable to do anything other than let the fire burn itself out and monitor the situation from the ground.  Mr. Wendelgass advised that he contacted the ACW Municipal Office on Wednesday afternoon, April 3rd to inform our Clerk about the turbine fire. This was done only in response to the Clerk’s request for information. 


Wind turbine blade snaps off in Iowa

Apr 9, 2013 7:10 PM  

by Shaina Humphries

Something big is missing at the Eclipse Wind farm in Adair, Iowa – a gigantic wind turbine blade broke loose and crashed into a field.

On Friday, a technician discovered one of the blades – which are almost the size of a football field – on the ground instead of in the air.

Siemens Energy, the turbine manufacturer, is now leading a full investigation into the unusual incident.

Kathleen Law, president of the Iowa Wind Energy Association, said, “Wind farms are usually placed in agriculture areas, so they’re out in the rural parts of the states, there are laws that require the wind farms to be set back a distance from residences and occupied buildings.”

Law noted, “Things like this are very rare. We have about 4,500 megawatts of wind turbine electricity in Iowa, and that’s thousands of turbines in Iowa and this is the first instance I have ever heard of turbine blade coming off in Iowa.”

Siemens said in a press release that this has never happened before, and they’re not yet sure what caused the blade to snap off.

Each of the giant blades is actually under warranty, so while a team of experts is working to figure out what happened, the manufacturer is already working to replace the blade for its customer.


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