Europe: Flying blades to be investigated

Two as yet unexplained cases of blades being thrown from wind turbines in Sweden last month are to be officially investigated by a bespoke accident commission.

The Swedish wind power association, meantime, is demanding that Sweden adopt the wind turbine accident reporting system brought into law last year in neighbouring Denmark (Windpower Monthly, April 2008).

The first failure involved a Vestas 225 kW turbine, a model manufactured in large numbers in the early 1990s, at Falkenberg on the west coast. After becoming detached from the hub for reasons not known, the blade fell to the ground at the base of the tower. The second lost blade was from an 18-metre wind turbine from Liten Vindkraft, a little known Swedish make. It was installed in the centre of Malmo but collapsed a few hours after being turned on. A sister machine in Malmo, installed close to a school, has been stopped until the cause of the accident is known.

Johan Ohlin from Liten Vindkraft would not comment on the accident, but has indicated to the Swedish press that a blade exchange was planned. Nobody was hurt in either accident, but Ake Jacobson from Sweden's wind power association stresses the importance of reporting all wind turbine accidents so that lessons can be learned from them.

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