Following the recent collapse of two Lagerwey 18/80 wind turbines in Dirkshorn and Stiens in the Netherlands, the manufacturer has announced measures it hopes will prevent further failures. Analysis reveals that the damage to the two turbines was due to a material or construction fault in the flange connecting the tower to the foundations. This defect is thought to affect only LW 18/80 units with a 30 metre tower -- in total some 54 of the 600 LW 18/80 turbines that have been sold in the Netherlands and Germany. All installations of this type were inspected after the failure in Stiens with the result that a further two turbines have had to be taken out of production. The remaining units in the series can remain in operation, but should be checked much more frequently, the company advises. Lagerwey is currently working on a program to strengthen or replace the affected flanges where necessary. It is also negotiating with insurance companies to ensure that the affected owners in Dirkshorn and Stiens are supplied with new turbines and incur no financial losses from the failures.
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