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North turbine off while Fairhaven Wind, NStar, search for problem  

Credit:  By Ariel Wittenberg | October 30, 2012 | www.southcoasttoday.com ~~

FAIRHAVEN – The north turbine remained offline Tuesday as Fairhaven Wind worked with NStar to locate the part of the electrical equipment that was keeping it off.

Fairhaven Wind developer Sumul Shah said the turbine automatically shut down Sunday night when sensors in electrical equipment detected an inconsistent current flowing through the electric grid.

Shah attributed the inconsistency to outer bands of wind from Hurricane Sandy that arrived Sunday in SouthCoast.

“You don’t want turbines to be out of sync with the grid,” Shah said. “The turbine was producing electricity of different current and voltage than the grid, so the sensors kicked it offline.”

As of Tuesday night, the north turbine was still not operational.

Each turbine has three sensors that can automatically turn it off if there is a problem. One is within the turbine itself, one is in Fairhaven Wind-owned electrical equipment located just outside of the turbine, and one is owned by NStar.

Shah said a sensor detecting inconsistency automatically “trips a domino effect so a lot of other circuits open to ensure the turbine does not start.”

On Sunday, the north turbine was shut down by the sensor just outside of it, Shah said.

“The one inside didn’t even have time to detect the problem because it shut down so fast,” he said.

As of Tuesday night, Shah said he was working with NStar to “find which piece of equipment is at the end of that domino effect.”

Fairhaven’s south turbine was unaffected by the grid’s “inconsistency” because it is connected to a different circuit than the north turbine. It remained functional throughout Hurricane Sandy.

Source:  By Ariel Wittenberg | October 30, 2012 | www.southcoasttoday.com

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

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