Wind turbine failure

Although wind turbines can be a great way to move beyond fossil and nuclear fuels, they occasionally fail. The video here shows a wind turbine in Denmark that had a catastrophic brake failure. As you can see, the turbine spins out of control in a brisk wind and eventually explodes!

While types of disasters like this are very rare, opponents to wind farms argue that they endanger wildlife and ruin the landscape. What do you think? Are wind turbines a good way to produce clean energy or are they more trouble than their worth lends?

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Posted under Uncategorized, weather geek

This post was written by qni_it on April 19, 2011

6 Comments so far

  1. Bob Smith April 19, 2011 7:26 AM

    The problem with wind is that the wind is not always blowing! If you rely too much on wind power you can cause rolling blackouts. For example, on really hot day (say sitting under a dome of high pressure) when you need lots of power, the wind is not strong enough to generate any real power out of the turbines. They are great when they work and if we ever figure out a good way to store electric they will be a great solution, but until that time they can only be a small part of the solution.

  2. B. Moston April 19, 2011 8:32 AM

    There will never be a completely safe anything but if the time, money, and expertise are really applied to making this energy force efficient and available, use of wind power is a no brainer. One exploding turbine does not equal an oil spill or a nuclear meltdown.

  3. Pam April 19, 2011 8:57 AM

    As we drove to TN in March and passed the wind farm that stretches for miles along the highway I wondered how they would fare in a Tornado. Those blades look sharp and pointy and huge from the car. Just more of a curiousity question.

  4. Tony Troyer April 19, 2011 10:38 AM

    I think that we should use every resource we have…Not one can fix the problem. I am for wind and solar!
    Pam that would be an interesting look to what fails in a tornado on a wind trubine.

  5. Aaron Brackett April 19, 2011 10:50 AM

    I have personally experienced an entire windfarm shutdown. In Kansas, whenever a severe thunderstorm warning or tornado warning is issued for a county, the windmills automatically put on the brakes and stop. It was quite remarkable to see hundreds do this right as the tones came over the weather radio.

    Good conversation once again guys!

    -Aaron

  6. Kristi April 19, 2011 11:11 AM

    Gas explosions have taken out neighborhoods yet we still use natural gas in our homes. I think anything can carry a risk or danger but using turbines is a great supplement to what we currently use now. Same with solar power. Nothing is a 100% but anything to lighten the load on our resources should be considered and used. I don’t agree that the turbines ruin the landscape visually though they could make them a bit more appealing to look at maybe.

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