Fire - a past and current enemy

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misc Fire - a past and current enemy

Historically many a windmill or watermill was destroyed by fire. Their wooden construction and the presence of potentially explosive dust from the milling operations was a major contributer, and the possibility of sparks if the grain ran out and the millstones touched added to the internal hazards. In addition, by their nature, windmills stood tall, in prominent locations, so lightning strikes were a possibility.

The Sept/Oct 2004 issue of Renewable Energy World brings the story right up to date with an article called "Wind and fire: Reducing the risk of fire damage in wind turbines". Once again the major problems are lightning strikes, coupled with the potential sparking or overheating that may occur finding a ready fuel in the necessary oil that lubricates the systems. It does point out that fire damage to wind turbines is comparatively rare, but given the height of the towers and presence of whiring blades once fire takes hold there is little chance of fighting it, often leading to total destruction of the turbine. Fire damage is reported to account for between 9% and 20% of wind power insurance claims. Tags: [#fire]
Item: #379, Posted: 30/9/04.

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