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golfCharlie. The question (not mine) was about the absence (or perhaps the ineffectiveness) of a fire suppressant system in the nacelle, rather than lightning protection. After all the metal tower should act as an effective conductor. The pictures showed fire first in the nacelle, spreading down the blades until they dropped off. Wish it could have been a video - were the blades still moving so it resembled a slow speed Catherine wheel? The blades are apparently made of a combustable super fibreglass like material, so probably are not a good conductor of electricity.

Aug 29, 2016 at 1:40 PM | Unregistered CommenterACK

ACK, Wind Turbine Fires

I don't think you can economically fit a lightning conductor to a wind turbine blade intended to rotate and maintain electrical continuity, without the lightning bolt passing through the drive shafts, gearing and generator, which will all end up being fried, or ignite the lubricating oils anyway. A tree is not made of the best materials to conduct electricity, but when damp, proves perfectly adequate. The top of the wind turbine tower (nacelle?) may have lightning protection, of proper conductive metals, but a turbine blade is a taller and more attractive target.

Most wind turbine fires are caused by brake failure. Uncontrolled spinning overheats the bearings etc.

Even if Fire Departments had the kit to extinguish a fire that high off the ground, wholescale replacement of all the expensive bits is going to be required anyway, because no manufacturer or maintenence company will be able to offer any form of guarantee. Unless there is a threat to human life or other installations, there is no economic case to stop them burning, and it is easier to let them burn out.

Costs for fires and their consequences are not factored in to life cycle costs.

It would be more cost effective not to build them in the first place, but for remote locations I do appreciate they allow diesel generators to have an occasional rest.

Aug 29, 2016 at 1:20 PM | Unregistered Commentergolf charlie

EM. Ask Dork, I'm sure he has multiple opinions about the colonial entropots that windfarms represent, and will introduce you to more economic blarny than you ever could need.

Aug 29, 2016 at 12:35 PM | Unregistered CommenterACK

From the Daily Mail article:

Each wind turbine costs more than £2 million and generates an estimated income of more than £500,000 per year.

How can this be? The consensus at BH is that wind turbines don't make any money.

Aug 29, 2016 at 12:12 PM | Unregistered CommenterEntropic man

Tiny CO2. Somewhat surprised by the proportion of anti- windturbine comments. Many people wanting many more of them to burn. An interesting query by one wondering why these very expensive lightning attractors are not equipped with a fire suppressant system.

I think we need Storm (I think that is the appropriate superhero or x person who can conjure up lightning with a wave of her hands ) to do her stuff more often near windfarms.

Aug 29, 2016 at 11:49 AM | Unregistered CommenterACK

Stewgreen. Does this mean that climate-induced lightning strikes will adversely affect Santa's ability to distribute Christmas presents? This could be a game-changer.

Aug 29, 2016 at 11:20 AM | Unregistered CommenterACK

Norway 322 reindeer stood close together..lightening strikes ..all dead..
..How long before gets blamed on GW

Aug 29, 2016 at 11:06 AM | Registered Commenterstewgreen

German wind turbine left to burn

The fire crew ladders weren't tall enough.

Aug 29, 2016 at 10:19 AM | Unregistered CommenterTinyCO2

I notice that the Matt McGraph piece is full of references to unnamed "environmentalists" and "critics". Don't those people or organizations warrent being identified.
Whenever I read a fluff piece like this I look for figures. Here I would like to know how much aviation is currently being used and how much could be supplied by using, say, wood waste. It does mention the prohibitive cost of production, but little about whether economies of scale would ever make the synthetic fuel economic. If not, then why bother?

Aug 29, 2016 at 8:34 AM | Unregistered CommenterACK

Phillip Bratby
I see that in the article by McGrath there is this quote:

Environmentalists point out that this doesn't include the warming impact of contrails or other gases and aerosols. They believe the true impact is about 5%

Last time I read anything, a while ago so the data may have been adjusted to the values in the models, the three days after 9/11 showed about 1.5'C warming in the absence of contrails.

Aug 29, 2016 at 7:55 AM | Unregistered CommenterSandyS

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