Jeumont blades shatter during heavy winds

FRANCE: The blades of a Jeumont J48 750kW turbine disintegrated in winds gusting up to 110 kilometres per hour on the night of 4 January at Widehem near Boulogne-sur-Mer on the Channel coast.

A Jeumont 750kW turbine blades shattered in high winds
A Jeumont 750kW turbine blades shattered in high winds

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In the incident, one blade broke off while a second frayed in the gale-force winds. One contributing factor might have been the area-wide electricity outages on the night of the accident.

Local media also reported the nacelle was side-on to the wind, not facing into it as would normally be the case. However, owner Sorgenia says it is too early to draw any conclusions. The company is now analysing data from the site alongside Areva, which is responsible for the turbine's maintenance.

The turbine was installed in April 2000 as part of a 4.5MW facility. Jeumont, owned by French nuclear giant Areva, produced turbines from 2000 to 2005. Widehem was the first wind farm equipped with Jeumont machines.

It follows a similar incident in Scotland last month, when a Vestas 2MW turbine exploded during high winds.

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