A guide to safety issues of Wind Turbines. This guide includes a table of Offset Safety Distances and a list of safety risks. "With more experience in wind power production, the more experienced Europeans require a one mile siting offset for utility-scale wind turbines from human dwellings."
The application of past knowledge could improve the current siting of industrial wind turbines and avoid potential risks to health. Trajectories are simulated for modern wind turbines ranging in size from 2 to 20 MW using upscaling laws. Extensive parametric analyses are performed against initial release angle, tip speed ratio, detachment geometry, and blade pitch setting.
It is found that, while at tip speeds of about 70 m/s (normal operating conditions), pieces of blade (with weights in the range of approximately 7-16 ton) would be thrown out less than 700 m for the entire range of wind turbines, and turbines operating at the extreme tip speed of 150 m/s may be subject to blade throw of up to 2 km from the turbine. For the ice throw cases, maximum distances of approximately 100 and 600 m are obtained for standstill and normal operating conditions of the wind turbine, respectively, with the ice pieces weighting from 0.4 to 6.5 kg.
The answer is pretty clear when it comes to fires that make the headlines; impressive videos of fires burning out of control, toxic black smoke filling the sky, burning turbine blades, and other parts shooting through the sky are well documented worldwide. Perhaps the question we should be asking is, “What do we think we know?”
He admits that turbine fires are fairly rare events, but when conditions are right, a simple spark can lead to irreparable damage and fatalities. “With such a high cost in term of loss and long shutdowns, you would think every wind farm would contain fire protection and life safety protocols,” said Johnston. “But they don’t.”