Japanese storm badly damages JSW 2MW turbine

JAPAN: Spring storms over the weekend broke off wind turbine blades at the Tsu IV wind farm in western Japan.

TV footage of the nacelle of the 2MW JSL turbine
TV footage of the nacelle of the 2MW JSL turbine

The 20MW project is the northern part of the Aoyama highlands between the cities of Tsu and Iga in Mie prefecture, western Japan. It uses 19 2MW turbines manufactured by Japan Steelworks (JSW). The damage was caught on Japanese TV.

Footage from Asahi Television earlier Monday showed the three blades scattered on the ground and the tower dented. The damaged turbine is operated by C-Tech, a subsidiary of Chubu Electric Power Company.

The turbine had come online in December 2010, with an expected lifetime of 17 years, and was designed to withstand wind speeds of up to 70 km/h.

The Japan Meteorogical Agency said the unstable weather was caused by two low-pressure systems, which whipped up winds that reached 150 km/h in northern Japan.

The J82 2MW is a direct drive turbine, with a 83-metre rotor diameter, and a hub height of 65-metres. Some 105 turbines have been delivered to 16 sites throughout Japan.

The J82 is relatively unusual in that it connects the rotor directly to a permanent magnet generator through a long drivetrain without the intermediary of a gearbox.

Its performance is in stark contrast to the 2MW Fuji Heavy Industry turbines on the Kamisu near shore wind farm 40 metres off Ibaraki prefecture on Japan's east coast. The turbines withstood the 2011 tsunami.

The wind farm did shut down but only after the tsunami from the magnitude-9, March 11 tremor engulfed a nearby sub-station. But the plant resumed normal operation on March 14.

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