February 25, 2005

"Gale-force winds snap wind turbine propellers"

Strong winds in the Iwate prefecture, Japan, snapped the blades of three large wind turbines yesterday. One was in the city of Tono and two in the town of Otsuchi. In nearby Morioka the wind reached 31.7 meters/second (71 mph). The turbines automatically lock down when the wind speed exceeds 25 m/s (56 mph), and the blades are supposed to withstand winds up to 60 m/s (134 mph). The power company suspects that lightning strikes (at the bases of each of the blades of each of the three turbines!) had already caused cracks. The picture with the Mainichi Daily News report (click the title of this post), however, shows a completely withered, not snapped off, blade.