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Wind turbine explodes into flames  

Credit:  Analysis by Nic Halverson, Discovery News, discovery.com 11 December 2011 ~~

Nothing is more emblematic of clean, renewable energy than the soothing blades of a wind turbine placidly turning in the breeze. Whenever I encounter a wind farm, I’m instantly calmed, dare I say hypnotized, by the tranquility.

So when one of these gentle green giants catches fire, like it did in the above photo, the image is jarring to say the least. Most jarring is that this seems to happen more than you might think.

Most recently this happened in Androssan, North Ayrshire, Scotland, an area recently hammered by winds up to 160 mph, compliments of a beastly Atlantic storm that clobbered northern parts of the U.K. early this week.

As you can see from this photo, the turbine exploded, spewing large pieces of flaming material on the ground below.

The windfarm’s operator, Infinis of Edinburgh, said the cause of the fire is not yet known and that the incident is under investigation.

It’s not entirely clear what went wrong (normally wind turbines shut down when winds reach 55 mile per hour), so the investigation will likely focus on that mechanism and possibly the gearbox, which controls rotor speed.

“As a standard precautionary measure, all Infinis staff vacate wind farms when wind speeds exceed 55 mph and therefore no one was present on site at the time of the incident,” Infinis explained in a press release.

As well, the site has been disconnected from the electricity grid until further notice.

Source:  Analysis by Nic Halverson, Discovery News, discovery.com 11 December 2011

This article is the work of the source indicated. Any opinions expressed in it are not necessarily those of National Wind Watch.

The copyright of this article resides with the author or publisher indicated. As part of its noncommercial effort to present the environmental, social, scientific, and economic issues of large-scale wind power development to a global audience seeking such information, National Wind Watch endeavors to observe “fair use” as provided for in section 107 of U.S. Copyright Law and similar “fair dealing” provisions of the copyright laws of other nations. Send requests to excerpt, general inquiries, and comments via e-mail.

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