Wind turbines are prone to going on fire

The goings-on inside wind turbines is a lot more complicated than you would imagine.  The biggest risk is fire, as they generate heat as well as electricity.

Not mentioned is the role of ball-bearings.  These wear out faster than intended, and constantly need replacing.  There are none hard enough to cope with the stresses required.  Heat and eventually fire is the inevitable result as they lose their smoothness.

This presentation interested me nonetheless.  He talks of future designs to come being very different.  He mentions fire several times.  I wonder what a next gen design would have to eliminate the risk of fire.  Ball-bearings will always be needed in a rotating blade design.


9 Responses to “Wind turbines are prone to going on fire”

  1. julianj says:

    Wind turbine technology is still developing and does not yet have the maturity or for example, of small & river hydropower. Nonetheless, windpower (on & offshore) is vastly better for the economy than thermal power generation, hydro even more so-. A bit of an eyesore to some; Gloucs CC found well over 300% of the county’s total carbon footprint could be met by wind power in recent study. We have a 1.6GWh pump storage capacity in just one of the local catchments, to store the energy while preventing any possibility of flood. Demonstrating an energy model that could enable prosperity all around the world.

  2. julianj says:

    You should be able to generate for all your domestic needs & car, could easily cost £20k not bad for a personal ‘oil well’ … but regret wind & solar not my specialties, water my area. A south facing roof helps with solar – a good exposed location best for wind etc. The costs here, including battery back-up keep getting more attractive, as energy likely to get more expensive. But a lot of potential pitfalls in renewables, always go for best quality / most reputable supplier. Can only make recommendations in water engineering.

  3. Tapestry says:

    That might be useful to some readers. Thanks.

  4. alison says:

    Before you part with any of your hard earned money to invest in wind farms, you owe it to yourself to listen to Paddy Dolan’s take on it: –

    Guests – Kate & Marcus / Paddy Dolan – Sunday 18th September 2016 – Kate & Marcus – Healing with Hemp / Paddy Dolan – Anti-WindFarm Group – Hemp Juice/CBDa Which Turns Into CBD, Du Point Family Paid To Have Hemp Criminalized, Hemp Juice Is A Food, They Are Licenced By The Irish Government, endocannabinoid system (ECS), Juicing, Windfarms Companies Are Working Like The Builders Did In The Early 2000’s, Setup A Shell Company And Build The Windfarms – Flip Them For A Profit And Walk Away, Energy Generated Going To The UK, Low Frequency Will Effect People And Animals.

    Listen to the full interview here: –

    • julianj says:

      Thank you for posting this interview – raises some very important issues. Visual impact with wind farms, among many others. BUT we need realize every time we ‘flick a switch’ there is an externalised wider cost, an impact somewhere, usually remote from the ‘switcher’.
      In the case of any large scale concentrated power generation there’s potential for a range of problems and hidden costs, wind or anything else.
      Very often such large scale projects provide funding opportunities for remote vested interests and as this interview illustrates can lead to bad outcomes, corruption and other distortions at the least. And so the rich get richer …
      (Hence Schumacher’s 1973 ‘Small is beautiful’ – encouraging local responsibility and decision making – largely ignored or overruled in the development of safe & viable infrastructure, hence large scale solutions to provide these, to ‘keep the lights on’).
      (Excellent points made about Agenda21 at end of interview, which should have enabled such community engagement and transparency but clearly has not; mainly because not enough people have engaged with the process. So often evil arises in the face of public apathy).
      My suggestion above to Tapestry was to explore self-generation, (also community led self-generation is another good opportunity). My reasons for suggesting this :
      – Self or locally controlled installations of renewable generation enables best outcomes. (Technology only recently becoming available and still developing).
      – Doesn’t export problems to another area, and reduces grid/transfer losses.
      – Retains the substantial benefits / profits of generation locally.
      A good understanding the economics of renewables is slowly emerging :
      – The recent news that offshore wind is now cheaper than nuclear ( )
      – A Welsh Govt funded report, ref below, found the wider economic benefits through employment creation vastly exceeded those of thermal power generation, see p 16 ( ) .
      In the area I work (small & river hydro) we have the anomaly that this is very expensive to install but produces probably the cheapest electricity available in UK, presently.
      Everything has a cost but understanding the true cost is the challenge (much the same applies to agriculture).

  5. Tapestry says:

    It seems from a brief morning’s research that wind has little prospect of generating enough power per pound invested, while solar might get there. That’s no doubt why the government is investing in wind. They keep fossil fuel alive for another generation while they destroy the water by fracking, and can then use water as the replacement for oil to control the world.

    • alison says:

      All more than a bit frustrating when there are numerous other ways of generating energy without the use of wind or the sun…

      I’m no scientist but something tells me that those solar panels may solve some problems in the short term but in the long term may cause more problems… just a gut feeling…

      • julianj says:

        Such intuition is almost certainly correct, there will be ‘negatives’ with solar panels. BUT we need ask, where does your present power come from and what are then true costs …

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