Who, what, why: What happens to wind turbines in a storm?


Two years ago video footage of a wind turbine catching fire and breaking up in Ardrossan, Ayrshire, was widely circulated. So what does happen to wind farms on a very windy day?

Turbines do occasionally have to be shut off in very high winds, but usually at speeds higher than the current storm in the south of the UK.

Failure to do so can lead to an incident like the one at Ardrossan. That was blamed on a fault that stopped the head of the turbine pointing in the correct direction and another fault with the brakes.

During dangerously high wind, the blades on turbines are supposed to be “feathered” – twisted so they no longer catch the wind and rotate.

The current storm has already destroyed one turbine in Devon. Tim Kirby, managing director of Ecogen, admitted there might be some problems for smaller turbines but not for typical commercial farms.

via BBC News – Who, what, why: What happens to wind turbines in a storm?.