Thursday, December 11, 2008

Day 174: Far Flung

ice flung in relation to the turbine located at the center (from the Swiss study)

Yesterday in the Times an article ran on the Green Inc. blog titled, Ice-Tossing Turbines: Myth or Hazard?, a timely topic as winter sets in this week. It turns out that wind turbines can fling some ice, but not that far. The degree of danger seems to be up for debate between the Swiss and the Germans. But the Americans seem to agree with the Germans - the risk of injury is quite low and is directly connected with using common sense after an ice storm (don't stand near a turbine after a storm).

Wind turbines are designed like jet plants it seems, and slow down or don't move at all when they are coated with ice. This greatly limits the possiblity of ice being flung far distances at high speeds and creating injury or property damage.

The Germans wrap up the issue nicely with their transparent statement:
"As a general recommendation, it can be stated that wind farm developers should be very careful at ice endangered sites in the planning phase and take ice throw into account as a safety issue. Each incident or accident caused by ice throw is an unnecessary event and will decrease the public acceptance of wind energy."

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