Liberty wind turbine collapse

alpg88

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Yes i agree. Why so huge? Why not 10 small ones that you can access with a ladder?
the smaller the blade the faster the wind has to blow, with a large blade you need only, let say 20mph wind, with small ones you need 200mph winds, numbers are just to show a point, real numbers are different, but the concept is the same.
 

Guitar Guy

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The gearcases in those turbines require a very large amount of oil and grease if properly maintained. They may look small when you're driving down the interstate, but they're huge. Multiply the number of gallons of fossil fuels required to build, maintain, and recycle each one by the number of wind turbines in operation.

Then, think about how many there are, and that they're only supplying 5%. Are we really saving the environment, or is it just a money making by-product of climate change hysteria?
 

Buff

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Honestly the later i'm sure. Just like anything with good intentions i'm sure. Some people always see the money though and F things up.
Like Florida introducing the love bug to eat the mosquitoes. Now we need something to eat the love bugs as they are out of control and we still have mosquitoes. I'm sure the idea was only brought into action with good intentions.
 

Buff

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My biggest fear is the 75 acre forest behind my house that is owned by the town will suddenly be plowed under to make way for a solar panel farm or a wind farm. I travel all the hilly windy backcountry roads here and boom there s a solar panel farm covering acres of land. It's so ugly and a real shame.
 

Guitar Guy

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It's so ugly and a real shame.
There are some beautiful mountain ranges is the southern part of my state (you know, Almost Heaven, West Virginia) well known by campers, hunters, fishermen, and tourists who like to take scenic drives. The last time I was down that way a few years ago, there was a row of wind turbines along the top of one of the beautiful remote mountain ranges for as far as the eye can see. Near the scenic Seneca Rocks area. I've been going down that way for years, and I hate it.
 

Buff

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Sad.
My concern is why do these environmentalists pushing this stuff hate trees and birds and now whales? As i understand science, trees breathe the carbon dioxide and turn it into the oxygen we breathe. It's to me one of those cycles of life?
I'm sure they have good intentions.
 

pnwoutdoors

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I wonder if the media will cover the post mortem, and let us all know the real reason that it failed.

Well, there's some utility in you, me and the other unwashed knowing. But I would bet the engineers in question are investigating, and that the firm(s) and regulatory people in question are pushing to find the reasons. Their firms won't want their names tarnished, their products "black listed" or their subsidized install/operation contracts curtailed, and the regulatory agency (-ies) won't want to keep subsidizing so willingly if there end up being actual flaws. Even if we the peons never hear of the specifics.

I'm assuming that, like everything engineered, they're designed to operate within a performance envelope. Either that got exceeded, at that specific tower, and/or some design flaw (if any) just got exposed in whatever it was that failed.

Imagine the feathering function no longer working, then big winds came along.
Imagine icing on those huge blades added weight beyond the design assumptions.
Imagine if an unexpectedly sharp earthquake's impact went beyond the design assumptions.
Imagine their regular testing regimen isn't up to par and flaws (cracks, breakage?) occurred over time.

Lots of variable to manage and accommodate, and lots of weight and complexity that must function properly.

I wonder what the "fly on the wall" heard in the control room, when it was clear that thing crashed. "Oops" ... or some other useful 4-letter word.
 

PlanBTorches

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Chicago


The gearcases in those turbines require a very large amount of oil and grease if properly maintained. They may look small when you're driving down the interstate, but they're huge. Multiply the number of gallons of fossil fuels required to build, maintain, and recycle each one by the number of wind turbines in operation.

Then, think about how many there are, and that they're only supplying 5%. Are we really saving the environment, or is it just a money making by-product of climate change hysteria?

I think this is a really interesting topic! There has been a bunch of really great work done looking at the total life-cycle CO2 emissions (and costs) of different power sources and the results can definitely be surprising. I'd always assumed most of the emissions came from manufacturing, but it's actually mostly resource extraction (72%) followed by maintenance and lubrication oil (14%), which I would have figured were negligible(1). For the top-level numbers, my reading has always suggested that even working with a pretty reasonable 20 year operating life most turbines are on the order of 17 to 90 times more co2 efficient than natural gas, with variability depending on the turbine size, style, and onshore vs offshore (2, 3). That actually makes wind one of the least questionable renewables from a pure co2 payoff standpoint with a payback time right around 1-2 years depending on the install.

Now of course there might be other reasons to avoid turbines like intermittency, view or noise complaints, the existence of nuclear, or energy independence/defense considerations. I just wanted to chime in because lifecycle analysis is a major interest of mine, and I think wind turbines are a really fascinating case study.

(1) Texas Lifecycle Analysis
(2) US office of energy efficiency
(3) Lifecycle greenhouse gas emissions.
 

Galane

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Interesting. This explains why the blades can fail, but it doesn't explain why the mast buckled and deformed like a bent drinking straw. It seems as if the mast doesn't have uniform strength across it's circumference.
More like an empty pop can. Long ago when I was a short, flyweight teenager, I could carefully stand on top of an empty pop can. But the can had to be *perfect*. The tiniest dent would make it crush as I put my weight on it.

The fun part was getting up onto the can, standing balanced there for a bit, then barely tapping the side of the can with the toe of my other foot. *CRUNCH*.

Looks like thus turbine used a stressed metal tube structure, reliant on the outer skin being free of dents. A blade failing so that wind would bend it back far enough to strike the tower would instantly have it folding.

One of the earliest videos of a large wind turbine failure shows the turbine in high winds with a failed brake. The blades spin faster and faster, the generator housing catches fire. After a bit of burning, one of the blades snaps, karate chops the side of the tower and down it goes.
 
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PhotonWrangler

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More like an empty pop can. Long ago when I was a short, flyweight teenager, I could carefully stand on top of am empty pop can. But the can had to be *perfect*. The tiniest dent would make it crush as I put my weight on it.

The fun part was getting up onto the can, standing balanced there for a bit, then barely tapping the side of the can with the toe of my other foot. *CRUNCH*.

Looks like thus turbine used a stressed metal tube structure, reliant on the outer skin being free of dents. A blade failing so that wind would bend it back far enough to strike the tower would instantly have it folding.

One of the earliest videos of a large wind turbine failure shows the turbine in high winds with a failed brake. The blades spin faster and faster, the generator housing catches fire. After a bit of burning, one of the blades snaps, karate chops the side of the tower and down it goes.
The pop can analogy is perfect. Thank you for this explanation, Galane. This does indeed seem to be what happened.
 

orbital

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About 25 years ago there were about 30 of the largest wind-turbines installed about 20 minutes to my west.
they have endured crippling cold winters/tornadoes/crazy derechos'/wicked squall lines/high wind warning events.

Of all the things that can turn a turbine, wind isn't such a terrible thing.

Facebook has a big anti wind-turbine campaign,,,, brought to you by coal and/or oil producers
 
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