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One really should not laugh



24 comments to One really should not laugh

  • Nah, you’d need a heart of stone not to laugh, chum!

  • Michael Lorrey

    It’s like a modern Battle of Britain…

  • 'Nuke' Gray

    You are right- laughing would be unseemly. A quiet chortle will be enough.

  • Charlie

    Shame! That’s like poring wind on the fire.

  • chuck

    I love fireworks. What was the occasion?

  • JH

    For GODS sake. Surely the blades can be rotated to have zero – or even negative – angle of attack to slow rotation.

    But no, let’s just stick ’em up and hope it does not get windy. I’ll bet many others have been damaged beyond repair in this storm.

    How far did that particular installation go towards paying for itself, I wonder? 2%? 3%?

  • Johnathan Pearce

    Och, there’s a breeze up me kilt, laddie!

  • Ha Ha Ha Ha Warble Gloaming Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Windy Day Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Stopped all scottish wind turbines Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Still blew the damn thing up Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha

    Why on earth SHOULD we laugh ? We’re paying for this farce through our Power and Gas Bills.

    Warble Gloaming my ares.

  • Famously, the British Railway system was halted some while back by “the wrong kind of snow”.

    This was evidently the wrong kind of wind.

    Presumably it will be explained as an example of just the sort of extreme weather event that requires us all to close down our regular power stations to prevent.

  • I laughed my bollocks off when I saw that on the BBC’s website, and considered sticking it up at my own place. What a great advert for my industry!!

  • Actually, I was trying to figure out what was happening there. I can see one turbine, still attached, is on fire…but has another shot out of its housing and turned into a deadly, 5-tonne projectile?

  • Famously, the British Railway system was halted some while back by “the wrong kind of snow”.

    Not really comparable, it actually was a different ( not ‘wrong’ ) sort of snow and it got into the engine compartments of diesel electrics and buggered up the inverters, the problem’s been largely rectified now. I suspect that with wind turbines the problem is more systemic and the very quality of wind which is supposed to make it so useful is precisely why it isn’t.
    Anyway who’s laughing ? I’m not, really….snort.

  • Josh

    Anyone know where to get a high definition version of this picture? It would make a lovely poster.

  • One actually must praise the photographer, too. It cannot have been an easy shot to get.

    News organisations will often sell nice high resolution prints of their pictures for a small fee. I don’t know where this one came from. It might be a frame from a video, too, in which case high resolution might not exist.

  • bobby b

    This burned for some time.

    Looking at the flames and smoke generated, I’d guess that this fire put more CO2 into the atmosphere in one day than does the entire Australian trucking industry.

    But then, this was much more fun to watch than the entire Australian trucking industry driving about would have been.

    So I guess it’s a win-win situation.

  • Kim du Toit

    “Quiet chortle”? I laughed my ass off.

  • Dale Amon

    I am not speaking from knowledge, just educated guesses. With blades that long, a mechanism to control the pitch (propeller angle of attack( could be pretty difficult. An alternative would be to simply lock them down or have some brake that is supposed to hold. If the brake was not rated for the forces due to 160mph wind, then you’d get something much like what happens when you drive your car with the emergency brake on. It gets red hot. Grease burns. With the amount of energy and the composites involved in these beasts, it could easily be enough to set other things on fire as well.

    As I said, just an educated guess.

  • No need for a brake, just a clutch which lets out when the speed gets too high, letting the blades spin but disconnected from the turbine.

  • llamas

    Tim Newman wrote:

    ‘No need for a brake, just a clutch which lets out when the speed gets too high, letting the blades spin but disconnected from the turbine.’

    Congratulations, you just encountered the classic dilemma of the windmill through the ages.

    The idea of a free-wheel clutch is great – until you realize that you must now design the bearings and the blades and everything that rotates to withstand essentially-unlimited speeds, torques and centrifugal forces. It’s easy for a turbine this big to go supersonic at the blade tips with no load. Think about how you woauld have to buiuld the thing to withstand those sorts of forces. They would get too big and too heavy to work efficiently – or at all – at normal wind speeds. Your clutch also needs to be absolutely gigantic to be able to operate the sorts of speeds and torques involved. Same goes for a brake – any brake large enough to control a turbine like this once it’s running would make it impracticably-huge and expensive. As with almost-all windmills, the working load is the main braking system, and since you can’t decide to pop a windmill onto or off the grid at a moment’s notice, that control is effectively compromised. The very worst thing you can do with a windmill is let it run free, because now you have absolutely no way to get it back under control.

    A windmill is easy to control when it is stopped, hard to control when it is running, and virtually impossible to bring back under control once it has exceeded its operating parameters. Dutch windmillers knew this 300 years ago, and the rules have not changed since.

    The turbine that burned turned itself out of the wind and ended up backwinded (watch the video) and the blades were falling apart long before the fire would have brought it down. Something happened long before the video began that caused this to happen. I suspect that the braking mechanism (whatever it is) did not engage and the thing was wildly out of control long before the video began or the fire broke out. The fire was a consequence, not the cause of the failure.

    I suspect (but obviously cannot prove) that these turbines are not being designed to last a long time and withstand all the viccisitudes of nature becasue that’s not where the money is.



  • Thanks, llamas. Clearly, I should stick to oil and gas work. 🙂

  • Paul Marks

    Correct llamas – they are not designed to last long term

    They are designed to last just long enough to collect the government subsidy.

    The wind power thing is a scam.

  • A G W Hysteria

    I thought that part of the fraud about Global Warming was that if it’s too windy, they have to turn the damn things off. Seems like even at two million each the pretty things are very sensitive to, er, too much wind.

  • 'Nuke' Gray

    Of course, the other way to look at the photo is that either the wind turbine stored too much power (the curse of being too successful- the power couldn’t go anywhere) or we have uncovered a secret defence plan- a missile launcher that looks like a turbine! But which had a malfunction.