Vestas V112 fire investigation continues

GERMANY: Vestas has said it is conducting an ongoing investigation into the failure of its latest V112 turbine and has shut down a number of similar machines.

The fire, which destroyed the turbine, occurred at the 51MW Gross Eilstorf wind farm in Lower Saxony, Germany. Vestas was handed a 17-turbine deal for the project at the end of 2010.

In a statement, Vestas said it is still inspecting the nacelle via drone aircraft and a crane and modelling possible causes. It has yet to discover the cause although the turbine was operating normally before the incident occurred.

It said it had paused other V112s with a similar configuration to the turbine involved in the incident, but that these are being returned to operation. Upgrades, including new software, have been added.

The Gross Eilstorf incident is the first serious turbine failure for the V112 since 2010 when a section of blade fell of a prototype in Denmark.

The V112-3.0MW flagship prototype is arguably Vestas's most important product since the lightweight V90-3.0MW turbine was introduced in 2003. The V112 can be used in both onshore and offshore locations.

The turbine marks a return to traditional drive technology for Vestas. While its predecessor, the V90-3.0MW, had introduced a compact integrated drive system, with the new V112 Vestas returns to conventional wind technology, but offering a 55% larger rotor-swept area.

Its technical features include a non-integrated drive system, a permanent magnet generator and a passive liquid-cooling system.