Huge wind turbine at Antarctic research station crashes – Fossil fuel to the rescue

More proof that you need fossil fueled backup for any wind or solar powered project.

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The head of a 30-meter (10 story) -tall wind turbine at Mawson station fell to the ground Tuesday night.

“We have no idea what the cause of it is yet,” said Dr Rob Wooding, general manager of support and operations for the Australian Antarctic Division (AAD).

Look at the size of this thing in relation to the buildings! Photo courtesy Australian Antarctic Division (ADD)

“The winds at Mawson are always quite strong at night, so they were up to about 40 knots, but that’s not, by Mawson standards, especially strong.” said Dr Wooding.

The turbine was one of two on the station, but both have been deactivated while investigations continue.

The station is now relying solely on diesel-power generation.

The AAD is a division of the Department of the Environment.

See video of the wind turbines in action. They are huge.
http://www.abc.net.au/news/2017-11-08/mawson-antarctic-wind-turbine-failure-investigated/9130554

Thanks to Harold J Satterfield for this link

“This may not bode well for wind turbines,” says Harold. “Maybe they got some of Shakespeare’s “ill wind” down there :).”


7 thoughts on “Huge wind turbine at Antarctic research station crashes – Fossil fuel to the rescue

  1. And thanks to frequent commenter “Laurel” who mentioned the story, but didn’t post link. I followed Laurel’s lead and posted link.

  2. They don’t know why it failed?
    Because wind turbines are inherently fragile and cost huge amounts to maintain and repair. (much more than any electricity they provide).
    It most likely became brittle due to the cold so regular winds blew it down.

  3. John B is spot on with his comment “It most likely became brittle due to the cold so regular winds blew it down.”

    All metals have significantly lower tensile strength at very low temperatures with the result they can become brittle and likely to catastrophic stress failure.

    This problem is cumulative and something you should consider when choosing to fly – are the airlines maintenance procedures satisfactory ? Probably not for a financially distressed airline.

    Lucky it missed any buildings.

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