HANOVER – The wind turbine near Route 53 in Hanover, which is supposed to generate electricity for the town’s water treatment plant, is running properly again.
Tim Stearns, the chief operating officer of Plymouth-based Aeronautica Windpower, which was hired by Hanover Insurance to repair and maintain the turbine after installation by a previous firm, said a hydraulic safety alarm had been triggered in the last couple weeks.
The alarm stopped the turbine, which had been running for 10 days beforehand.
Stearns said he was unable to get a maintenance crew there to resolve the issue until Thursday.
He said he hopes the turbine will run as intended now.
The turbine has not been short of problems since the plan was approved by Hanover taxpayers in 2008.
It was supposed to begin running in early 2011 and generate $50-60,000 worth of electricity towards the water plant’s yearly consumption of $120,000.
Instead, it remained dormant for years after continuing mechanical issues involving the tip-braking system, hydraulic temperature and twisting power cables
Hanover Insurance took over the project for the town to avoid further taxpayer-funded cost overruns.
Last fall, the turbine ran uninterrupted for nearly four months, the longest span since its installation, when twisting cables became an issue.
Stearns said the machine can only rotate three times before its cables become twisted and it must unwind itself.
As a temporary fix, Stearns’ team would manually unwind it until the manufacturer, Siva, a company based in India, responded to their calls and came to fix it in December of last year.
When Siva left in January, however, the company had made changes to the control system without alerting Aeronautica, Stearns said, and the machine was no longer functioning at all.
“The problem is, this is their (Siva’s) technology, but they don’t tell us how it works because they don’t want the world to know,” Stearns said.
“So now, we’re here, left to figure it out.”
Stearns’ team then checked with another machine that was the same model as Hanover’s.
They reset the Hanover turbine’s control panel to match the one they found, which is why it was functioning again before the hydraulic alarm last week.
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