Fire in Vestas turbine

SPAIN: A second Vestas turbine in as many months has caught on fire, it has emerged.

Only shortly after tackling a nacelle fire on one of its V112-3.0MW turbines in Germany in April, the Danish manufacturer has had to contend with another fire, this time on one of its V90-2MW machine in Spain.

The fire in May was due to "an electric arc flash" which took place during the performance of a service operation, a company spokeswoman told Windpower Monthly. "Vestas is currently carrying out investigations to find the root cause of the electric arc flash," she added. Once finalised, she said Vestas would inform its customers and take any necessary actions.

An employee, performing a service operation in the control cabinet at the nacelle, suffered burns to hands and face and was rushed to hospital in the incident. He is now back home and his recovery is progressing "satisfactorily", said the spokeswoman.

The machine was operating in the five-year-old Casa del Aire wind plant in the district of El Bonillo in the south-central province of Albacete, a hot spot for brush and forest fires. The fire brigade extinguished the flames, which also spread to the surrounding vegetation.

The plant developer, Renovalia, declined to comment, saying the full onus for comment fell on Vestas, not only as turbine supplier but also as operations and maintenance provider.

"Taking into account the information available today, the incident in Casa del Aire is an isolated case and has no connection to the V112 fire in Germany or to any other incident in a Vestas turbine," said the Vestas spokeswoman.

In the German case, the company concluded that the fire started in the harmonic filter cabinet as a result of a loose connection, which will be remedied by using a different type of washer on the electrical connections.