April 22, 2022
Too much wind for this compromised turbine to handle
(Image: Stuart McMahon/Getty)
These things are meant to save us from a changing climate but, when
the weather turns wild, they can barely save themselves.
blades, weighing in at 20 tonnes each, are usually the first item to
be shredded and thrown in all directions (the wind industry uses the
neutral term "component liberation").
Then, if serious breezes persist, the whole kit and caboodle hits
the dirt; which means all three of those 20-tonne blades join the
90-tonne nacelle (which houses the gearbox and generator) in an
exhilarating 100m freefall.
When the wind goes
beyond gale force, you can forget about receiving any meaningful
Indeed, wind speeds barely need to reach gale force and
these things go into automatic shutdown, as appears on German
turbine maker, Siemen's
website - which has this to say about the automatic shutdown of
wind turbines when wind speeds hit 25m/s (90km/h):
Nature presents us
with different kinds of challenges.
High wind can create extremely
high loads, and as a result wind turbines are normally programmed to
shut down if the 10-minute mean wind speed exceeds 25 m/s.
pose a significant challenge for the grid system - for example, if
turbines in large wind farms shut down simultaneously.
It was precisely
that feature of their ‘design' that led to South Australia's
Statewide blackout on 28
When Texans were
walloped by Hurricane Harvey, in September 2017, their fleet of
whirling winders did likewise.
Despite having the largest wind power
capacity in the USA, it was nuclear power that supplied Texans with
the electricity they needed throughout the tempest and deluge:
wind power fleet automatically shutdown, going into
self-preservation mode, while its nuclear generation plant never
missed a beat.
Also in September
Hurricane Maria, belted Puerto Rico and turned thousands of
solar panels into useless shattered piles of glass and twisted
aluminium, and destroyed hundreds of wind turbines - blades were
shredded and thrown for miles - see the video above for a taste of
And while a
full-scale hurricane might take out dozens, if not hundreds, of
turbines in its wake, the localised destruction of a Texan tornado
is not to be sneezed at, either.
tornado takes down wind turbines
25 March 2022
The wind was too
Payton Malone shared a
photo on social media that shows the impact a Texas tornado had
on several wind turbines this week.
Texas reported 18
tornados this week as a line of storms pushed through and
apparently, one of the tornados in North Texas took out the
As you can see
here, the turbines were no match for winds that were estimated to be
well over 130 mph.
For the last couple
of years, a hot debate on social media has been the use of wind
turbines when it comes to producing energy.
Well, this photo
here won't help the argument that we can solely rely on the turbines
for the production of energy.
Many have already
questioned what would happen to them if they were placed in the gulf
while a hurricane sweeps across it.
Sorry, I don't have the answer