A Wind turbine is one of the main sources of renewable energy that is much needed in order to conserve the limited resources that this earth can offer. Despite this marvel in technology, we cannot always avoid accidents.
Back in 2013, two young mechanics, ages 19 and 21, were burnt on top of a wind turbine in Deltawind’s Piet de Wit wind farm in the Netherlands. Both were 80 meters above ground, doing routine maintenance only for the fire to trap and chase them in the end.
“Because of the height, the fire department initially had trouble extinguishing the fire in the engine room,” says the Netherlands Times. It said that the fire broke out in the afternoon with help, in the form of a large crane, coming in the evening backed with a group of firefighters.
But, with all those immediate actions, it was still too late for the two as fire already caught them. One of them fell to the ground while the other was recovered at the top.
After a series of investigations, it was revealed that a short circuit was deemed to be the cause of the accident according to Deltawind, but they still weren’t sure.
The turbine involved was a 1.75 megawatt Vestas V-66, which is coincidentally being sold online.
In an article by Gineers, it was discovered that there are actually wind turbine accidents happening but are rather not being given attention. The “wind turbine fire” Google alert had enabled this to be a hot topic, especially for Vestas.
In 2011, the company had a wind turbine fire but was blamed on a brake problem. The next year, a Vestas V-112 wind turbine in Germany caught fire and pointed to the fire on a loose connection that caused an arc flash. This is other than the arc fire that happened in Vestas V-90 turbines in Spain upon maintenance.
Not only that: in 2012, there was also a Vestas turbine that collapsed in Ireland. The Bad news kept on coming as in 2013, the company’s V-80 wind turbine in Canada also burned.
With all these incidents concerning wind turbines, the wind industry is now trying to develop turbines thoroughly so that these accidents will no longer repeat in the future.