HANOVER – The wind turbine on Route 53 stopped working again Sunday afternoon, but this time, it was because it was working properly, Tim Stearns, the chief operations officer for turbine operator Aeronautica Windpower said.
On Sunday, the power grid sent too much energy into the turbine, Stearns said, which made a protective mechanism go off in the machine that stopped it from running.
“That’s a normal procedure. It’s very temperamental, but that’s by design. It’s the way it should be,” he said.
When an error like this happens, the Aeronautica employees restart the machine and check it for damage, just to be safe, Stearns said.
“Something like this is going to happen 70 times a year,” Stearns said. “We might have to reset it for any reason.”
Just because the turbine isn’t moving, doesn’t mean it’s having technical problems again, Stearns said.
“We’ve been having low wind. Sometimes it’s just not windy enough to make it work,” he said.
The turbine has had a history of mechanical and technical problems since it was built, which has prevented Hanover from earning profits or taking ownership of the machine, Town Administrator Troy Clarkson said.
The most recent repair was done last Tuesday by Aeronautica, when the hydraulic system was not pressurizing properly.
“The repairs result from faulty installation by the initial contractor, Lumus Construction,” Clarkson said.
The machine was intended to save the town $50,000 a year in energy costs, Clarkson said.
A report presented by Clarkson at the last selectmen’s meeting on Aug. 17 shows the energy savings produced by the machine since 2013 has been $9,008. Of that amount, $6,532 was produced in 2014, during which the turbine ran for 186 days.