What happens to neighbours’ properties when they have toxic material strewn all over their fields? When livestock graze on their shard-like pieces or walk on them?
CBC News|Wind turbine catches fire in West Pubnico|Mar.19.2019
Huge turbine threw burning hunks of material 100 metres to the ground
CBC News · Posted: Mar 16, 2019 10:08 AM
A wind turbine in West Pubnico caught fire late Friday afternoon. (Frankie Crowell)
A wind turbine caught fire in West Pubnico, N.S., late Friday afternoon, throwing huge, burning pieces of material to the ground.
Firefighters were called to the scene around 5 p.m., but West Pubnico fire department Chief Gordon Amiro said there was little firefighters could do to douse the flames.
“We couldn’t get nowhere near because the blades was still turning, so, and pieces was breaking off the blades,” he said. “So if a piece was to fall off, it would go a long ways with the wind and that. So it wasn’t safe to go nowhere near the tower at all.”
No one was injured.
Amiro said when the blades turn, the tips are more than 100 metres up in the air — too high to fight the fire from the ground.
“There was nothing we could do more than watch what was falling down and if the ground was to catch fire, just to put it out on the ground.”
Firefighters say there was nothing they could do to put out the fire on the turbine because it was too high in the air for them to reach. (Frankie Crowell)
Amiro said two of the blades were completely burned and the nacelle, the gearbox at the centre of the blades that’s “almost as big as a school bus” was also seriously damaged.
Firefighters stayed at the scene for about an hour to ensure no one got too close.
Amiro said it’s a good thing it was raining and the ground was covered with snow.
“If that would have been August, we’d still be there trying to put wood fire out,” he said Saturday morning.
Firefighters kept people away from the area during the fire due to falling pieces of burning material. (Frankie Crowell)
FIRE SAFETY SCIENCE-PROCEEDINGS OF THE ELEVENTH INTERNATIONAL SYMPOSIUM pp. 983-995
COPYRIGHT © 2014 INTERNATIONAL ASSOCIATION FOR FIRE SAFETY SCIENCE/ DOI: 10.3801/IAFSS.FSS.11-983984
“The fire problem in wind turbines arises as a result of large amounts of highly flammable materials (hydraulic oil and lubricants, composite materials, insulation, and polymers) contained within the nacelle of the wind turbine and packed in close proximity to potential ignition sources such as overheated mechanical components (hot surfaces) and electrical connections that could fail [8-12].
Once a fire is ignited in a wind turbine, the situation rapidly escalates because the high wind favoured by turbine locations enhances the supply of oxygen and, hence, the fire growth. In over 90% of wind turbine fires reported, a total loss of the wind turbine, or at least, a severe structural failure of the major components (blades, nacelle, mechanical or electrical components) has been reported.
Moreover, even in the case of rapid detection, the fire brigade cannot intervene because of the turbine height[9, 10, 12], and for offshore wind turbines it is impractical to send response teams to fight the fire. Under high wind conditions, burning debris from the turbine may fall on nearby vegetation and start forest fires or cause serious damage to property (see Fig. 4)
The nacelle can house a huge amount of flammable liquids including gearbox oil, transformer oil, hydraulics fluids and other lubricants. For example, in a single 1.5MW wind turbine, up to 900 litres of lubricating oil including cooling and cleaning fluids can be stored inside the nacelle”