8 thoughts on “113-foot blade falls off New York windmill, lands in field”

  1. Not wind – ice. When water freezes it expands, creating tremendous pressure. All it would take is for the joint to become filled with water and later freeze. Expanding ice can shatter granite mountaintops and reduce a brand new road to a showcase for potholes. Entire sailing ships have been crushed beyond recognition by ice. The Great Lakes were excavated by ice.
    Only a fool would place a mechanical contrivance where it could be expected to encounter snow and ice routinely, and not expect adverse weather conditions to affect it adversely.

  2. Not only that but also the added stress of constant movement of the blades on the already stressed joints and bolts.

  3. Tad; If I am not mistaken it is somewhere near 27,000 PSI. Limited distance of expansion limits further damage.

  4. RE Allen Brooks
    Repeated freeze/thaw cycles gradually increase the expansion zone. That’s how mountains are eventually turned into gravel.
    Without frequent periodic maintenance on a schedule that requires more frequent inspection than in regions not subject to regular solid freeze conditions, to include replacement of fasteners on a schedule similar to that for aviation applications it is a formula for repeated failures of this nature.
    You can expect failures of this type to become a regularly reported situation as the promoters of these projects find out that the maintenance of these facilities is a lot higher cost item than for conventional stationary generators. These large generators incorporate all of the worst maintenance problems from an operational standpoint of a propeller driven aircraft and a mobile generating platform.

    Wait till one of these windmills throws a blade while rotating and the blade goes into an occupied structure or lands on a frequently used roadway.

  5. Many possibilities. Incorrect fastener torque during installation, bad bolt(s), ice buildup on the blade which would increase the load on the bolts tremendously. A colleague works on the towers and says most of the failures are due to the towers failing. You also have high winds which can cause the blades to deflect so much they hit the tower. They are supposed to shut down at high winds speeds, but a gust is all it takes.

  6. One other problem — the grease that is involved (necessary petroleum product that the Greens hate) in both the turning of the blades and the head in the direction of the wind congeals at these low temperatures, which also adds much more resistance and enhances the chance of breakage. Of course, the metal also becomes more brittle. Other than high wind, cold, salt spray corrosion (if in the ocean) and bird kills these monuments to crony fascism are immune to destruction. Renewable energy is anything but.

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