The North Fairhaven turbine is up and running again after being down for four days for maintenance.
Turbine developer Sumul Shah said his crews found a problem with the turbine’s batteries Friday morning that then resulted in the turbine being down until Tuesday.
The turbine is now running again after crews replaced its batteries twice.
The north turbine was already on its second set of batteries after crews replaced old ones a few months ago, Shah said. On Friday, crews found that two of the turbine’s 30 batteries had failed and replaced all 30 a second time, just to be safe. That exchange used “spare” batteries Shah said he had left over from purchasing the turbines. As it turned out, the old batteries used in the replacement had also expired, so Shah’s crew had to use a “brand new set” to get the turbines up and running, he said.
Crews also replaced a part within the turbine called a “brush” that uses copper bristles to conduct electricity to the batteries.
Shah said a turbine’s batteries aren’t used unless the turbine is shut down because of problems on the electric grid. When that happens, the developer is still able to control the turbines because the control system is powered by the batteries.
Turbine batteries usually have a two to three year shelf life, Shah said, but the north turbine had issues connecting to the grid over the summer.
“Its batteries were running on overdrive,” Shah said. “That’s why the north turbine’s batteries failed sooner than the south’s.”
He said the issue has been fixed and should not discourage residents from the usefulness of clean energy.
“Just because you have to take your car to a mechanic every once in a while doesn’t mean you shouldn’t drive,” he said.
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