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Monday, 9 August 2010

Offshore wind farms. It’s worst than we thought.


20030924                      Picture by Ant Upton ©
GV's of North Hoyle Offshore Wind Farm
Alex Tritten and Jo Wilson
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If you’ve read my previous posts,( HERE and HERE), you’ll be aware I’m not to keen on these machines due to their high operation and maintenance costs. I was made aware that the life of a wind turbine was only 6 to 8 years rather than the frequently quoted 20 year lifespan.

However I came on these little gems which I link to at the bottom of this post if you really would like to read it all.

This is underlined by an analysis of maintenance records, which shows that while service teams for offshore wind farms are supposed to make two scheduled maintenance visits every year, unscheduled visits to many installations are made 20 times a year.


The heart of the problem is that the technology being used offshore is generally onshore technology that has not been modified sufficiently to meet the different demands of an offshore environment.

The classic example of this is the disaster at the Horns Rev wind farm in 2005, following which Vestas is reported to have removed and repaired 80 of its V90 models, designed for offshore use, owing to the effect of salty water and air on the generators and gearboxes, which became corrupt after only two (My emphasis)  years. A similar procedure has been reported this year, with Vestas' 30 turbines requiring a change of rotor bearings, at an estimated cost of €30m.

Have they produced any meaningful power in this time?

And don’t get me started on gearbox failure.

As an ex marine engineer I could have told them the previous. (Providing they’d paid me a large six figure salary of course).

The rest is HERE. have a read.


  1. The main problem with the bird chopper is that you can't generate electric if the wind ain't blowing.
    I recently visitted a hydro scheme in north Wales - impressive. Why are we not doing more of that? Wind power is a con. Generation works on maintaining the power level in the grid. You can't turn off a power station just because the wind is blowing somewhere else, so the excess capacity is simply thrown away.

  2. I'd have thought the trouble with hydro is that you need the right kind of terrain, preferably with nobody living on it or using it for anything at the moment. There's a massive system here on the border between New South Wales and Victoria which makes use of meltwater from the mountains to generate a hefty amount of power (it's also used to manage water supply to the Murray-Darling river system). Two thirds of the renewable energy generated in the whole country comes from there, but you can't construct another like it between, say, Victoria and South Australia because it's flat, and you couldn't do it further north up the Great Dividing Range because there's no snow. Oh, and the final problem is that where there is a water supply and the land does let you build a dam and there's no one living there you'll still get environmentalists protesting about (a) the upstream inundation, or (b) the loss of water flowing downstream, or (c) both. Sometimes, and unlike their warmista buddies pushing the bird mincers, they've actually got a decent argument.


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