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When Lightning Strikes a Huge Wind Turbine (VIDEO)
The Atlantic ^ | June 15 2014 | Alex C Madrigal

Posted on 06/15/2014 3:27:11 PM PDT by PoloSec

A team of storm chasers from Tea, South Dakota, spotted a wind turbine damaged by a lightning strike ear Ruthton, Minnesota. The Tea Storm Chasers gave me permission to post the image here. 

The only wind farm I can find in the area is relatively old. The Ruthton Wind Farm went online in 2001. It's operated by Xcel, a large utility.

One thing we do know: Lightning strikes on wind turbines happen frequently. A 2007 journal paper on lightning protection for wind turbines reported that lightning damage is the "the single largest cause of unplanned downtime in wind turbines."


(Excerpt) Read more at theatlantic.com ...


TOPICS: News/Current Events
KEYWORDS:

1 posted on 06/15/2014 3:27:11 PM PDT by PoloSec
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To: PoloSec

I don’t believe I’ve ever seen one, or a picture of one, with the obvious need: a lightning rod.


2 posted on 06/15/2014 3:29:48 PM PDT by HiTech RedNeck (Embrace the Lion of Judah and He will roar for you and teach you to roar too. See my page.)
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To: PoloSec

Needs viagra


3 posted on 06/15/2014 3:30:05 PM PDT by al baby (Hi MomÂ…)
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To: PoloSec

“Lightning strikes on wind turbines happen frequently.”

Naturally, that will not be factored into the publicized cost of wind power.


4 posted on 06/15/2014 3:31:47 PM PDT by I want the USA back (Media: completely irresponsible. Complicit in the destruction of this country.)
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To: PoloSec

Lightning’s powerful. I’ve seen some huge oil fires caused by lightning.


5 posted on 06/15/2014 3:32:06 PM PDT by familyop (We Baby Boomers are croaking in an avalanche of corruption smelled around the planet.)
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To: HiTech RedNeck

Not so easy to design. The arms are huge so a rod up the center was probably there and insufficient.


6 posted on 06/15/2014 3:32:42 PM PDT by RossA
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To: PoloSec
 photo Burning-Wind-Mill.jpg
7 posted on 06/15/2014 3:33:26 PM PDT by gorush (History repeats itself because human nature is static)
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To: gorush

That plane is going down...


8 posted on 06/15/2014 3:33:58 PM PDT by eyedigress ((zOld storm chaser from the west)/?s)
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To: HiTech RedNeck
Going to need lots of duct tape to fix that one, they probably better pick up some electrical tape also for the innards :)
9 posted on 06/15/2014 3:34:43 PM PDT by The Cajun (tea party!!!, Sarah Palin, Mark Levin, Ted Cruz, Mike Lee, Louie Gohmert......Nuff said.)
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To: PoloSec

This is more common than you think.

Since the blades are made in two halves are then bonded together it splits the blade like a banana.

I have worked on several dozen lightening failures.


10 posted on 06/15/2014 3:37:38 PM PDT by Mikey_1962 (Democrats have destroyed more cities than Godzilla)
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To: gorush

This is a lubrication failure.

Either they did not change the oil often enough or the oil pan gasket failed which is unlikely.

The smoke is from an oil fire.


11 posted on 06/15/2014 3:39:27 PM PDT by Mikey_1962 (Democrats have destroyed more cities than Godzilla)
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To: Mikey_1962

Agreed.


12 posted on 06/15/2014 3:40:03 PM PDT by gorush (History repeats itself because human nature is static)
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To: HiTech RedNeck

I’m guessing a lighting rod would have to stick-up pretty high above the blades in order to work. They’re probably more worried about it breaking off and damaging the blades. I think the blades are made out of carbon fiber, so not cheap.


13 posted on 06/15/2014 3:41:47 PM PDT by smokingfrog ( sleep with one eye open (<o> ---)
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To: RossA

Even a token lightning rod would be easy to spot, though. I’ve seen diagrams of the “cone of protection” furnished by a rod. What rods often do with their sharp pointed tips is attract and drain away the electrical corona leaders that spawn lightning strikes, before a full strike can form. The adage remains true that “if lightning wants to strike you it will.” The paths of lightning can be crazily chaotic. But usually rods will help a situation or at the least redirect most of an actual strike.


14 posted on 06/15/2014 4:00:49 PM PDT by HiTech RedNeck (Embrace the Lion of Judah and He will roar for you and teach you to roar too. See my page.)
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To: gorush

Just look at how amazing wind turbines are at cleaning up the environment. In that picture, see how the pollution (going from right to left because of the wind) is just sucked up by the wind turbine on the left. For some reason the one on the right is off line and is not removing pollution. But look at that left one just suck it out of the air, leaving pure air downwind of the turbine!

Wait, the wind is going which way?


15 posted on 06/15/2014 4:04:06 PM PDT by coloradan (The US has become a banana republic, except without the bananas - or the republic.)
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To: Mikey_1962

The tree huggers fail to also mention what the impact is to local bird populations.


16 posted on 06/15/2014 4:06:56 PM PDT by catfish1957 (Face it!!!! The government in DC is full of treasonous bastards)
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To: HiTech RedNeck
"I don’t believe I’ve ever seen one, or a picture of one, with the obvious need: a lightning rod."

Indeed! Ben Franklin figured out the solution 200+ years ago. Why aren't today's design engineers using it???

17 posted on 06/15/2014 4:11:24 PM PDT by Wonder Warthog (Newly fledged NRA Life Member (after many years as an "annual renewal" sort))
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To: RossA
"Not so easy to design. The arms are huge so a rod up the center was probably there and insufficient."

Why put the rods in the arms?? Mount'em on the nacelle behind the prop arms. They just have to extend up higher than the prop arm length, which shouldn't be too difficult.

If you run the rod through the nacelle center of rotation around the tower, it is a direct shot straight to ground.

18 posted on 06/15/2014 4:14:49 PM PDT by Wonder Warthog (Newly fledged NRA Life Member (after many years as an "annual renewal" sort))
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To: HiTech RedNeck

Modern wind turbines do indeed have various types of lightning protection. Because of wind turbine complexity, simple lightning rods aren’t so effective.

Blades have conducting tips and grounding, for example.


19 posted on 06/15/2014 4:21:49 PM PDT by jjotto ("Ya could look it up!")
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To: jjotto

Since the blades move in operation, that may make conventional lightning protection strategies more difficult. Lightning often takes several seconds to form before there is what we call a strike. So what has bled off charge from the air where the blade had been, may not have bled it off from the region where the blade is now. I’d still think a tall single rod up the center could help, or maybe tall single rods on towers standing amidst a field of turbines, but I guess the designers don’t agree or have figured it is not worth the cost based on the loss rate of turbines.


20 posted on 06/15/2014 4:30:42 PM PDT by HiTech RedNeck (Embrace the Lion of Judah and He will roar for you and teach you to roar too. See my page.)
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To: PoloSec

A little Cialis will fix that.


21 posted on 06/15/2014 4:31:24 PM PDT by exit82 ("The Taliban is on the inside of the building" E. Nordstrom 10-10-12)
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To: PoloSec

i would guess turbine brake failures are #2.


22 posted on 06/15/2014 4:46:12 PM PDT by Secret Agent Man (Gone Galt; Not averse to Going Bronson.)
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To: PoloSec

Wow those blades are expensive. I guess the customers will pay to fix it.


23 posted on 06/15/2014 5:23:18 PM PDT by ExCTCitizen (I'm ExCTCitizen and I approve this reply. If it does offend Libs, I'm NOT sorry...)
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To: PoloSec

Bigger downtime than Lightning strikes is cold weather drove through Wisconsin Texas Minnesota in fall/Winter 5% of 20 Windmills rotate. the Ones along a Highway the other 19 in the row just watch!


24 posted on 06/15/2014 5:53:31 PM PDT by philly-d-kidder (AB-Sheen"The truth is the truth if nobody believes it,a lie is still a lie, everybody believes it")
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To: PoloSec

I have a not-so-obvious question. Or maybe it is. If they are for the purpose of generating electricity, why not capture the energy of a lightning strike? After all, Doc Brown did it in Back to the Future. All you need is a huge capacitor.


25 posted on 06/15/2014 6:57:19 PM PDT by roadcat
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To: roadcat

A FLUX capacitor, not just any ol’ capacitor!


26 posted on 06/15/2014 7:35:43 PM PDT by bicyclerepair (The zombies here elected alcee hastings. TERM LIMITS ... TERM LIMITS)
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To: PoloSec

Well DUH! They are the tallest things around, and they’re metal, besides!


27 posted on 06/15/2014 7:50:43 PM PDT by SuziQ
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To: gorush

Doesn’t look like that windmill is compliant with the EPA’s new Carbon Pollution mandates.


28 posted on 06/15/2014 7:58:11 PM PDT by Rodamala
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