Facts About Wind Energy and Hurricane Sandy

November 8, 2012

I find it very interesting that Hurricane Sandy has been predicted to affect wind turbine operation in U.S. Mid-Atlantic area actually was predicted not to do any major damage to wind turbines. One of many interesting facts about wind energy is that wind turbines are as a matter of fact  built with robust safety features to face extreme conditions such as Hurricane Sandy.

According to AWEA website some of those safety features are but not limited to the following

Wind Power Information

Wind Power Information

Facts About Wind Energy: Wind Turbine Safety

1. Turbine brakes – Most turbines are installed with turbine brakes that automatically engage if winds reach a certain speed – usually around 55 miles per hour. At the rated speed, the turbine brakes are applied and the rotor stops spinning.
Blade feathering – Wind turbine blades can be tilted (feathered) remotely by an operator or automatically, so that instead of harnessing strong winds, wind is allowed to slip through the blades.
2. Active yaw systems – Large turbines have active yaw systems that require a small motor that moves the nacelle (or gearbox, where the generator is housed) to point directly into the wind. By pointing directly into the wind, turbine aerodynamics allow wind to flow past the blades easily.
3. Heavy monopole towers – Monopole towers can reach up to 100 meters in height and are meant to hold nacelles and blades that can weigh several tons. Thicker monopoles constructed with more steel and internal structures can support more weight and withstand stronger environmental forces like wind or waves for offshore structures.
4. Strong foundations – For onshore wind turbines, most large-scale turbines have a foundation pad constructed from concrete. These foundation pads are usually buried several feet deep to help anchor the turbine to the ground. Offshore turbines in Europe utilize heavy concrete gravity-based structures that are placed on the seabed or monopiles that are driven many feet into the seabed to keep turbines steady in high winds and waves.

Facts About Wind Energy: Building Strong Foundation

Video below shows University of Delaware wind turbine construction so you can get the idea how strong the foundation really is.

Wind turbine needs strong foundation to withstand any extreme weather including Hurricane Sandy. Along with other safety features such as turbine brakes, blade feathering, active yaw systems and heavy monopole towers, they provide a good safety to protect your investment in clean energy for days to come. These facts about wind energy safety should be implemented accordingly.

What safety features do you implement for your residential wind turbine? Please, share your comment below and Like this article on Facebook.

If you like this article and want to prepare for power outage, check out my article about Why You Should Opt For Home Generators For Power Outages


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