November 13, 2007

Valuable lessons of failed turbine

Windfarm designers must learn lessons from storm damage, an Aberdeen academic has warned.

Three Scottish windfarms had to be “switched off” after a turbine collapsed in high winds.

The 200ft machine at an Argyll windfarm, “bent in half” during storms sweeping Scotland on Thursday.

Dr Alan Owen, Engineering lecturer in engineering at Robert Gordon University, said: “There are always lessons to be learned from a failure.

“Common wind turbine failure could be due to materials, design, or fabrication, and a repeated series of strong gusts could produce forces which were not originally envisaged by the designer.”

“The beneficial side of failure is it that it allows improvements to technology.

“People should not be alarmed by the malfunction of one wind turbine.”

The failed turbine’s operator Scottish Power shut down the 26-strong facility at the Beinn an Tuirc in Argyll and Bute.

No one was injured in the incident at the windfarm, near Campbeltown.

The Press and Journal

12 November 2007

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