Exploding wind turbine

This is something that will cause a few heart palpitations at UMM — we’ve begun this big push towards being a green university, exploring alternative energy and conservation, and we are very proud of our campus wind turbine, with plans to build more. This story of a wind turbine that lost a rotor and exploded in a storm is a wee bit unsettling.

However, I’ve never seen our turbine blades move that fast, even in the high winds we sometimes get around here, so I suspect we must be working with a newer and I hope better design here, unlike the ten-year old turbine in the video.

Oh, and our turbine is off campus, and if it did blow like this one, at worst it might kill a few cows.

(via Page 3.14)


  1. #1 Torbjörn Larsson, OM
    February 28, 2008

    Oh, I feel so vindicated. During an environmental course years ago I mentioned a drawback with wind turbines – they use up a lot of area. I estimated that safety distances should be 100 – 200 m. Dunno how I came up with the number, but the other course members locked decidedly skeptical. Maybe it was the presentation.

    And now I read that typical safety distances are 150 m. And IIRC in one late destruction (Denmark ?) large bits traveled ~ 100 m by kinetic energy and small stuff 500 m by the wind.

    Not a laughing matter, but – I got the last laugh!

  2. #2 Frederik Rosenkjær
    February 28, 2008

    Chris, #39: I think the word you’re looking for is “Danes” ;)

  3. #3 David Marjanovi?, OM
    February 29, 2008

    Matt at #14: a source for your info (“…[two] technicians inside…”) would be nice. If it is contained in the story as linked in PZ’s post I wouldn’t be able to confirm it myself as I don’t read German.

    It isn’t mentioned at all in the story.