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UFO blamed for wind turbine damage

 
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PS_RalphW



Joined: 24 Nov 2005
Posts: 5281
Location: Cambridge

PostPosted: Thu Jan 08, 2009 2:14 pm    Post subject: UFO blamed for wind turbine damage Reply with quote

http://newsvote.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/england/lincolnshire/7817378.stm

But not by me.

At the time the weather was dead calm and the coldest night for 10 years.

Looking at the pictures I guess one blade sheared off at the mounting plate and hit the second as it fell straight down.

I also guess that the cold caused differential contraction between the (metal ?) mounting plate and the (composite ?) blade. The cold would also make the (metal ?) mounting bolts much more brittle, and they snapped under the shear stresses.

If the blades had been turning, internal tortional flexing and friction would have kept the structure from becoming so cold.

That said, it sounds like either a design flaw or a badly maintained turbine. The rest should be checked.
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JohnB



Joined: 22 May 2006
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Location: Beautiful sunny West Wales!

PostPosted: Thu Jan 08, 2009 2:45 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

That explains everything. Aliens have taken over world governments, who are pushing for nuclear power to make the earth a refuelling point for passing spacecraft. They're just paying lip service to renewables to keep us humans from suspecting anything. And earth is a bit cool and has the wrong atmosphere for the aliens, so they're using climate change to modify it. Wind power is getting a bit too popular, so the aliens are having to resort to a bit of direct action to discredit it.

Now I understand everything Wink
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adam2
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 08, 2009 2:57 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I doubt that metal embrittlement caused by cold caused the failure, the reduction in strength cuased thus should not be enough to cause failure of a non rotating turbine, on which of course the streses are less.

I consider it more likely that water was trapped between the hub and the blades, and that this water expanded as it froze, and broke the fixings, much as frosty weather is apt to burst water pipes.

Also metal embrittlement caused by cold would be expected to result in numerous failures, whereas the ingress and freezing of water could be a one off failure of some sealing etc.
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PS_RalphW



Joined: 24 Nov 2005
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Location: Cambridge

PostPosted: Thu Jan 08, 2009 3:27 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

adam2 wrote:

I consider it more likely that water was trapped between the hub and the blades, and that this water expanded as it froze, and broke the fixings, much as frosty weather is apt to burst water pipes.


Sounds very reasonable. Possibly the bolts had been already weakened by developing fatigue cracks, although the turbines are only 8 months old.

I would note that the most dangerous time to stand under a tree is on hot, sunny windless summer days. Dry dead branches snap off without warning and crash straight down on your head.

Also, short haul aircraft are more prone to fatigue (slow forming hairline) cracks than long haul aircraft because the more frequent changes in altitude means more frequent thermal cycling leading to thermal stresses.
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careful_eugene



Joined: 26 Jun 2006
Posts: 443
Location: Nottingham UK

PostPosted: Thu Jan 08, 2009 4:32 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
Ecotricity said it hoped to have the turbine back in action within a week
Now that is impressive. I do hope it's not a design flaw, I suspect that it's a manufacturing / installation error i.e. inferior or missed weld or incorrectly tightened bolts. Does anyone know what the blades are made from?
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Bandidoz
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 08, 2009 5:09 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I blame it on the O-rings Razz
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JohnB



Joined: 22 May 2006
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Location: Beautiful sunny West Wales!

PostPosted: Thu Jan 08, 2009 11:58 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Excellent article in the Daily Mail. Eye witness accounts, pictures, maps. In fact everything except the little green men themselves!

Quote:
said Mr Palmer, 66, who is chairman of East Lindsey District council. 'If the aliens are coming, I want to be there to meet and greet them.'


Quote:

UFO expert Nick Pope, a former head of the Ministry of Defence's UFO Project, told me: 'This is a really bizarre case. What's particularly interesting and exciting is that because there's been a collision, there will be residue of the object involved on the damaged part of the turbine.

'Forensic science will enable this material to be recovered and analysed, exactly as happens in a road traffic accident where a driver fails to stop at the scene.

This elevates this UFO case, because with most sightings all you have is eyewitness testimony or indistinct and shaky film footage taken on a mobile phone.

'Here's an opportunity to do some hard science. Given that this case can be properly investigated, I believe the MoD and Civil Aviation Authority should take immediate action.

'The description of the UFO as having tentacles is also highly unusual. I've only heard of a handful of such sightings before. Most UFO sightings involve craft that are triangular, disc-shaped, cigar-shaped or involve balls of light.'

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Bandidoz
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PostPosted: Fri Jan 09, 2009 4:32 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I wonder if some NIMBY loon is going to suggest UFO interference as reason to block wind planning applications Razz
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