A Repower Systems 2 MW turbine, newly installed for wind plant operator Jawe Konstrukt of Wesseling at a site near Herzogenrath, lost a blade tip during high winds in early September requiring a main road to be closed for several hours while the police investigated the incident and supervised any clearing of debris. "The blade, delivered by LM, was not the problem," says Repower's Thomas Schnorrenberg. "The fault appears to have been in the charger for the batteries operating the blade brakes and the sensor system that should have signalled that the batteries were not charged," he says. He declines to name the battery charger supplier until liability for the fault is established. As the brakes did not work, the rotor speeded up until a blade tip brushed the tower. Wreckage spun out to a distance of 100 metres. Nobody was hurt. Schnorrenberg says a short power failure in the area may have triggered the fault which stopped the batteries from charging. Investigations reveal it is "fortunately not a series failure," he adds. The turbine affected was one of three at the site that had been installed about three weeks previously and not yet handed over to the operator. All three were closed down after the incident. One was back in operation by mid-month with the second to follow shortly. The third will wait for a new blade. "This is the first time we have had such a blade related problem," says Schnorrenberg.
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