Monday, December 31, 2012

Wind turbines found to last half as long as previously thought, UK study of 3000 turbines found avg. life 12 yrs.

12/30/12, "Wind turbines 'last for half as long as previously thought' as study shows they show signs of wearing out after just 12 years," UK Daily Mail, Tamara Cohen

"Wind farms have just half the useful lifespan which has been claimed, according to new research which found they start to wear out after just 12 years.

A study of almost 3,000 turbines in Britain – the largest of its kind – sheds doubt on manufacturers claims that they generate clean energy for up to 25 years, 

which is used by the Government to calculate subsidies.

Professor Gordon Hughes, an economist at Edinburgh University and former energy advisor to the World Bank, predicts in the coming decade far more investment will be needed to replace older and ineffective turbines – which is likely to be passed on in higher household electricity bills.

He said the performance of the UK’s wind turbines over the past 11 years had ‘deteriorated markedly’ and that ‘the subsidy regime is extremely generous if investment in new wind farms is profitable despite the decline in performance due to age and over time.’...

For offshore windexamined only in Denmark where it has been used for longer - it declined even more dramatically from over 40 per cent at the start, to just 15 per cent after ten years.
He believes they become uneconomic after around 12 years. The decline in output was put down to wear and tear of the blades, and more frequent breakdowns for older turbines.

His report for the anti-wind farm charity the Renewable Energy Foundation (KEEP), noted: ‘Onshore wind turbines represent a relatively mature technology, which ought to have achieved a satisfactory level of reliability in operation as plants age. Unfortunately detailed analysis of the relationship between age and performance gives a rather different picture…’

Prof Hughes told the Sunday Telegraph the trend for larger wind turbines in Britain, which reach up to 400feet tall in some areas increased wear and tear.

He added: ‘I strongly believe the bigger turbines are proving more difficult to manage and more likely to interfere with one another.’ He said the data was verified by a statistician at University College London."...


Storm disintegrates Denmark wind turbine. uploaded Feb. 2008


"Uploaded Dec 9, 2011, A wind turbine near Dalry and Ardrossan in North Ayrshire caught fire during Scotland's extreme weather on Dec 8th 2011. Filmed by producer and cameraman James Alcock." (:18)


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