Investigators are assessing what caused 4.5MW turbine installed on 164-metre tower at forest site to crumble.
Hamburg-based wind turbine manufacturer Nordex has suspended operation of 19 units of a particular configuration of its N149/4.0-4.5MW model that were in service in Germany, following the collapse of one of the turbines at the 9MW Haltern AV9 wind farm near Essen.
Nordex said the turbine collapsed on 29 September “almost completely”, and the nacelle and rotor blades fell to the ground. There were no injuries, and the police and fire brigade were informed, with the area being cordoned off. The turbine was installed on a 164-metre tower in January this year, coming into operation on 11 March.
Nordex said its technicians are on site, evaluating the underlying cause of the collapse. No conclusions have yet been reached.
Worldwide 1,222 – or 5.7 GW – of the N149 turbines have been installed or are under construction, with different configurations. This is the first time there has been an accident involving one.
All 19 turbines that have been temporarily stopped have an identical configuration to the collapsed unit. A further four turbines with identical configuration are under construction. No other N149 models are affected.
The turbine that collapsed was one of two identical models at the Haltern AV 9 wind farm, located in the Haltern forest area in North Rhine-Westphalia and operated by Windpark Haltern AV, a joint project between Stadtwerke Haltern am See and RAG Montan Immobilien.
According to a statement on RAG Montan Immobilien’s website, the turbine collapsed down to approximately 40 meters. The second turbine was shut down immediately.
“The plant has completely collapsed, most of the components such as the wings, machine house and the upper steel element are at the base of the plant and in the adjacent forest,” the company reports.
According to local news reports, the incident could be heard several kilometres away.
Nordex launched the N149.4.0-4.5 in 2017 as part of its Delta4000 platform and was the first OEM to install a 4MW-plus onshore prototype in 2018.
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