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Lightning is a serious danger to wind turbines


With the tumultuous weather of the last few days, including a thunderstorm, one wonders, what happens to turbines in bad weather?

Answer: plenty.

Lightning strikes are commonplace and according to this article are responsible for 80% of the insurance claims for damage to turbine parts. They are also responsible for turbine equipment and blade fires. Read the article here: http://www.nachi.org/wind-turbines-lightning.htm

Note that the authors say the higher the turbine heights, the greater the risk of events. At 626 feet or 190 meters, the turbines proposed for North Gower-Richmond will be the tallest in North America. The turbines will be FOUR TIMES the height of the radio towers seen on prince of Wales Drive. (Why so high? Because there is NO WIND here on a regular basis, so they have to use taller equipment to catch what there is.)

A few weeks ago, a turbine caught fire near Goderich, Ontario. The wind power developer is now being criticized for a complete lack of safety controls (the supervisor drove around with his car window down to detect smoke) and for not notifying the municipality for more than 12 hours that a fire had occurred.

And of course, when equipment is on fire at that height, there is nothing you can do but let it burn and hope to control fires on the ground, caused by the flaming pieces. At Goderich, the debris was thrown 200 meters from the actual turbine tower.  Noxious smoke filled the air as the petrochemicals inside the nacelle burned.

But of course, wind power at this scale is “green” and “good” and helps the environment, says the industry lobby

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