Turbine failures stir up concern

Add to the storm damage from the past weekend the new wind turbine at Peck’s Boats. This is a novel design where the blades are on the trailing edge of the nacelle, or generator pod, permitting them to flex back and away from the mast in a strong gust.

Well, two blades are gone now. I hope this doesn’t set back the cause as I remain a fan of wind power. From the Cape Cod Times:

“This weekend, the gusting winds, at times measuring over 60 mph, prompted Conrad Geyser to check in on the turbine he owns at Peck’s Boats Inc. on Route 28 in Marstons Mills.

“I was looking and listening, and I didn’t see anything off the chart,” he said yesterday. “The thing was going like crazy and moving around a lot, but nothing any more extreme than we’d seen already.”

Geyser said he believes sometime in the early morning Sunday a big gust may have hit especially hard and knocked the blade tips off. He’s not sure how far they landed from the tower. Wind turbine blades can be subjected to enormous pressures, especially in the Cape’s notoriously stormy weather.

“They’re light,” he said. “But anytime you have something falling from the sky, there is concern.”

via Turbine failures stir up concern | CapeCodOnline.com.

Author: David Churbuck

Cape Codder with an itch to write

6 thoughts on “Turbine failures stir up concern”

  1. I hope no one got hurt, but I have to laugh at the quote from Conrad! I once went to pick up a 1/2 ton of 20′ length steel rebar in Hyannis for Conrad in his beat-up, rusty old Toyota 1/2 ton pickup with a lumber rack made from 2×4’s. Those babies were hanging off the front and back of the pickup, bouncing up and down and almost tapping the pavement. I believe his words of wisdom before I left were “it’ll bounce up and down like crazy and move around a lot, but nothing I haven’t seen before”. We used the rebar to build the first cages for his quahog harvesting operation.

  2. Peck and, to some extent, Geyser mistakenly seem to feel they have an easily remedied mechanical problem when, in fact, they now have a very thorny political problem. Neighbors have contacted lawyers, building inspectors have already paid visits and the talk around town is that this incident will impede the permitting of wind turbines in populated areas for some time to come. My guess is we won’t see those blades turning for many months. What a shame

  3. It looks like Conrad bore the brunt of this storm. A boat and a wind turbine. Now if he could figure out a way to mount the turbine on the boat…….

  4. Very interesting. They are airfoils after all and subject to many stresses and the resulting fatigue. Mental note to self: Don’t find yourself downwind of the Cape Wind installation on Horseshoe Shoal when the breeze is piping up. Addendum to note: Don’t even be out on Horseshoe Shoal when the breeze is piping up!

    My boat is the wettest center console ever designed. If boats have souls, mine has the soul of a submarine.

  5. I’m confused… Peck’s is surrounded by businesses, except for the funeral home (if someone lives there…). Unless the blades traveled a good distance, nobody’s home was in danger. And from what I read in the article, the rogue blades were recovered… so someone should know how far they flew.

    If the town is really concerned, maybe a lower lockout speed should be put into the permit so if no one is watching the windspeed and load the thing would at least stop spinning before it self destructs.

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