Flaw in EU Offshore Turbines Makes Them Slide Off Their Bases

by , 04/27/10

eu, european union, europe, uk, turbine, offshore wind, wind farm, offshore, wind, turbine, wind power, renewable energy, wind energy

Hundreds of offshore wind turbines in the EU might be in peril. It was announced that a good number of them have a flaw that causes them to shift off of their bases after being installed. The flaw is due to the grout mixture — made of cement, sand and gravel — used to attach them to their bases in the bedrock. It seems the grouting is not holding the turbines firmly and many have shifted several centimeters after installation. The operators and makers of the turbines say it may take as much as six months and $20 million dollars to right the windfarm’s wrongs with new technology – a mighty hefty price tag for Europe’s renewable energy community.

eu, european union, europe, uk, turbine, offshore wind, wind farm, offshore, wind, turbine, wind power, renewable energy, wind energy

New wind turbines are being installed daily, yet engineers and wind farm owners have stated that the faulty grout will not effect the speed at which the new turbines are erected. However, with turbines already installed engineers and scientists need to search for an answer as how to right the turbines on their bases retroactively. The discovery of the faulty grout has set off a firestorm of investigations into turbines from the UK to Sweden with everyone wondering if their turbines have moved in the same manner.

With Britain alone trying to thwart global warming by installing 32 gigawatts of offshore wind capacity by 2020 — expected to cost 150 billion dollars — the problem could potentially be a large one. However, engineers and wind farm owners are currently investigating whether the problem needs to be fixed. It seems that though the turbines are shifting after installation the movement has not effected their efficiency or function. Questions remain as to whether that is true over the long haul.

Via Renewable Energy World

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1 Comment

  1. hop April 27, 2010 at 10:50 am

    Are you serious? How is this a story?

    This article implies that somehow a fuckup in the mixture of the concrete for the bases of the windmills puts the turbines themselves in a questionable light. Really?

    Even with a naive back-of-the-envelope calculation of the numbers within this very article, it doesn’t make sense:

    Britain alone is investing 150 billion dollars within the next 10 years, yet a maybe-6-months retrofit that may cost Europe as a whole 20 million carries a “mighty hefty price tag?” One sum is .0133 _percent_ of the other, for crying out loud! Seriously?

    Quote the referenced article “[…] and may not even require action […]”

    Nothing to report, move along.

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