February 8, 2006

More gearbox failures in wind turbines

The Associated Press reported yesterday from Minot, North Dakota, that a couple of three-year-old wind turbines haven't been operating for the past couple of months because of gear box problems.

"It's sad to see mechanical failures and we've had our fair share," said Bruce Carlson, president of the Verendrye Electric company. And Ron Rebenitsch, a Basin Electric engineer from Bismarck, added, "With the gear teeth stripping out, the turbine could run wild and self-destruct. Those turbines are under a tremendous amount of stress, and there are many parameters for a turbine to operate safely. It's a complex mechanical device, subject to failure."

"Gear box problems are not uncommon," said Randy Bush, a resource coordinator for Basin Electric. "At Edgeley, where they have a lot more towers, they have the same issues to deal with that we have."

Also see the log of problems of one New Zealand turbine in an earlier post.

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