Never has such a lousy product been given so many free passes: wind turbines. Yes, they are lousy products – sorry!
In a free market, where poorly performing products get knocked out rapidly, wind turbines still can’t hold a candle to regular power plants. They only survive because of subsidies, and exorbitantly rosy promises.
Lightening strikes, damage to power cable insulation, overheated gear-drives: Every month on average 10 wind turbines are destroyed by fire the British elite university Imperial College has found out in a study.” […]
Scientist Guillermo Rein of the Imperial College emphasizes that the risk of fire has been played down many times. Worldwide on average only 1 wind turbine fire per month is made public. However, in fact the real figure is ten wind turbine fires on average according to investigations by the university.”
No matter how you calculate it, wind energy is terrible. Even the most amateur of engineers are able to appreciate the ultra harsh conditions that wind turbines must inherently withstand just due to their design and siting. The power generation unit is far above ground level and gets subjected to forces and conditions that way beyond anything conventional power plants situated in buildings at ground level are exposed to.
Then there’s the trend to put them offshore where conditions are even far more violent and menacing. Only one conclusion can be drawn on the wind turbine concept: the contraptions are impractical. It’s tantamount to using 500 laborers to do the job of a single Caterpillar excavator.
It boils down to the simple economic logic: Wouldn’t it just make much more sense to replace all these little bicycle generators, which are propped up on sticks hundreds of feet above ground way out in the hicks, with a single big one that’s at ground level (where fires at least can be fought), is easy to maintain, and can run continuously?
Ingenier.de writes that the fires often result in “total damage” to the wind turbine and that especially offshore turbine fires “lead to considerable damage to investors”.
Gradually the public is getting the picture that this wind energy idea is turning into a megaflop, one that reminds us of early airplane designs with flapping wings. Wind turbine producers sure have taken governments and consumers to the cleaners – to the tune of hundreds of billions. The public was sucked into buying a real lemon.
As a solution to the burning problem, experts are calling for “improved materials”.
Firemen unable to even get near the fire
When a fire does break out, Ingenieur.de reports that firemen can’t even get close to the fire because the turbines are so high above ground. And even if they could there’s an acute danger from falling parts and rotors, and so they refuse to get anywhere near the damn thing! All they can do is watch the contraption burn down.
Overall Guillermo Rein, Department of Mechanical Engineering, Imperial College, calls the results of the study “serious”.
Sounds like a nail in the coffin of a dumb idea that needs to be buried sooner than later.
Oh, there’s more. Rein will soon be publishing the results of a risk study that looks at solar energy. Get the popcorn ready.