Germany Sees 4 Catastrophic Wind Turbine Failures In Four Weeks …Man Nearly Hit By Ice Projectile

A few of days ago I reported on a spate of wind turbine collapses occuring in Germany and Europe. Well the folly appears to be continuing as the online German Tageblatt here reports how yet another has come crashing down, with a passerby witnessing it live.

The fourth collapse in four weeks!

German news site NTV here writes:

South of Hamburg an approximately 100-meter tall wind turbine collapsed. The turbine in Neu Wulmstorf fell during the morning, a police spokesman said. A passerby observed the incident and called the fire department.”

The NTV reports it’s still unknown why the bolted connection 20 meters high came apart at around 11 a.m, but was probably due to brisk winds at the time.

The latest incident led the Swiss online daily Baseler Zeitung (BaZ) here to report on the unusual series of wind turbine failures in neighboring Germany, writing that such a string of failures “is not supposed to happen“.

The BAZ adds that normally Germany sees about 6 or 7 such failures over an entire year.

There have been four serious incidents in northern Germany over the past four weeks. ‘Too many in such a short time,’ writes Philipp Stukenbrock of Ingenieurbüro 8.2 Consulting, which specializes in wind parks.”

The four recent collapses in summary:

  1. Early December, the tower of a 70-meter tall turbine snapped in half and the turbine and blades crashed to the ground in the state of Mecklenburg-Pomerania.
  2. In the northeast German state of Saxony, the tower of a 100-meter tall turbine snapped some 15 meters above the ground.
  3. Early this week a 40-meter blade came apart and fell to the ground in Brandenburg.
  4. As described above, the tower of a 100-meter tall turbine south of Hamburg broke catastrophically 20 meters above the ground.

Ice projectiles

Collapsing turbines are not the only hazard posed by wind parks. There’s also the danger of falling ice, as the here reports.

On the morning of New Year’s Eve, Werner van Veenendaal was out for a walk near Bochum in the Ruhr region, when a roughly 2-foot long ice projectile flew off from the tip of a blade of a nearby 98-meter tall wind turbine and crashed close by, shocking the bejesus out of him. From the photo of the ice chunk, a direct hit certainly could have been lethal.

van Veenendaal told the Westfälische Nachrichten daily that he also found several other chunks of ice of similar size in the area: “The street was also littered with smaller pieces.” And because it was foggy he was not able to see the tops of the turbines and thus “could not see that there was ice on them“.

Luckily he wasn’t hit, or worse!

15 responses to “Germany Sees 4 Catastrophic Wind Turbine Failures In Four Weeks …Man Nearly Hit By Ice Projectile”

  1. Ric Werme

    “shocking the bejesus out of him”?

    I didn’t think there was a German word for that. 🙂

    Looks like all Google can do is convert

    „Ich hab natürlich einen Riesenschrecken bekommen“, sagt er. Das rund 60 Zentimeter große Eisstück war von einem 98 Meter hohen Windrad herabgeflogen.


    I’ve got a huge horror, of course,” he says. The approximately 60-centimeter ice piece had flown down from a 98-meter high wind turbine.

    I like the warning sign on the road. Maybe someone needs to hang a hook and hard hat for walkers to use.

    1. cementafriend

      Gott im Himmel

  2. tom0mason

    Not just in Germany, in Finland just after record breaking cold (-41.7°C) a windmill failure caused a fatality —

    1. Sebastian

      The linked article clearly says a kitchen fire killed a man. And a windmill burned too … Very unlikely to missread that into a windmill failure causing a fatality.

  3. Bruce of Newcastle

    There’s quite a large business now for de-icing wind turbines – using helicopters.

    Greens don’t seem to understand the concept of irony.

    1. Akatsukami

      Elon Musk will release the solar-powered helicopter Real Soon Now™.

    2. Henning Nielsen

      But surely those helicopters don’t run on fossil fuels? No doubt it is some gored synergy effect, from the collective greenhouse gases emitted at the latest COP conference, baked beans and Indian holy cow farts excluded, because we paid for them, that keeps the copters airborne for as long as it takes to de-ice the pylons of climate disaster defiance?

  4. Germany Sees 4 Catastrophic Wind Turbine Failures In Four Weeks …Man Nearly Hit By Ice Projectile

    […] – Germany Sees 4 Catastrophic Wind Turbine Failures In Four Weeks …Man Nearly Hit By Ice Projectile: […]

  5. Boyfromtottenham

    Just a guess from a non-engineer – Could the reason for the multiple failures be intense cold causing bolts to fail due to metal contraction? If the bolts are fully tightened at say 20degrees C, and the temp drops to say -20 C, perhaps a bolt could fail under the unexpected tension (and maybe cold brittleness if the steel is poorly specified). Any thoughts?

  6. AndyG55

    A bit ot,

    If we take the zero trend line in RSS from 1997 to just before the 2015 El Nino,

    The global temperature has now dropped just below that zero trend line

    In this graph , the black trend line is calculated on the green data, then manually extended in crimson.

    The blue data is the El Nino transient and decay.

    We are back to where we started before the El Nino transient..

    …… with more cooling to come.

    1. sod

      “If we take the zero trend line in RSS from 1997 to just before the 2015 El Nino”

      you are starting at a high point and ending at a low point.

      What you are doing is anti-science of the worst kind.

      1. DirkH

        Says the expert for antiscience.

      2. AndyG55

        You are a mathematical and scientific midget, with ZERO understanding of climate or climate systems.

        You have No idea what a backward trend calculation is, either, do you !

        And I have most definitely NOT started at a high point.

        Anyone can see that the trend line starts at the LOW point before the 1998 El Nino and finishes at the stable point just as the 2015 El Nino starts to take effect.

        You really do need to STOP LYING, sop, particularly about something where you are so BLATENTLY WRONG.

        So Get used to it..

        Before the 2015 El Nino there was a period of at LEAST 18 years where there was a ZERO TREND.. ie NO WARMING

        And the transient of the 2015 has now decayed BELOW that zero trend line.

        There is nothing you can do about these FACTS except more ignorant LIES.

  7. yonason

    What faux Greens call “success” is invariably failure.

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