Green Industry – The Epic Fail Of The Wind Turbine

A $200-million wind farm in northern New Brunswick is frozen solid

Wind farms dont work for a whole number of reasons ranging from too much wind, too little wind and the most common one of all: it’s too cold and they are frozen solid.

In Britain the wind turbines failed spectacularly during the recent cold spell, they either consumed more electricity than they produced, or at times of peak demand, British wind farms despite the huge investment in them, produced just 0.1% of our energy requirements.

The problem of frozen bird choppers is not just limited to Britain, in Canada where they are used to hard winters you would think Canadian wind turbines would be fit for purpose:

FREDERICTON — A $200-million wind farm in northern New Brunswick is frozen solid, cutting off a potential supply of renewable energy for NB Power.

The 25-kilometre stretch of wind turbines, located 70 kilometres northwest of Bathurst, N.B. has been completely shutdown for several weeks due to heavy ice covering the blades.

GDF SUEZ Energy, the company that owns and operates the site, is working to return the windmills to working order, a spokeswoman says.

“We can’t control the weather,” Julie Vitek said in an interview from company headquarters in Houston, Texas. “We’re looking to see if we can cope with it more effectively, through the testing of a couple of techniques.”

She says the conditions in northern New Brunswick have wreaked havoc on the wind farm this winter.

“For us, cold and dry weather is good and that’s what’s typical in the region. Cold and wet weather can be a problem without any warmer days to prompt thawing, which has been the case this year.

“This weather pattern has been particularly challenging.”

The implication from the power company is that they know that the turbines only work when the conditions are right, a fact presumably know to politicians who peddle Climate Religion at the expense of their country’s energy security.

Wintery conditions also temporarily shutdown the site last winter, just months after its completion. Some or all of the turbines were offline for several days, with “particularly severe icing” blamed.

The accumulated ice alters the aerodynamics of the blades, rendering them ineffective as airfoils. The added weight further immobilizes the structures.

Ms. Vitek says workers are trying to find a way to prevent ice buildup from occurring again in the future. The shutdown has not had any effect on employment at the site, which provides 12 permanent jobs.

They had the very same problem a year ago and they still have not found a solution, without the 100% back of fossil fuel or nuclear powerstations there would be no electricity.

About Tory Aardvark

Climate Realist, Conservative and proud NRA member. I don't buy into the Man Made Global Warming Scam, science is never settled. @ToryAardvark on Twitter ToryAardvark on Facebook

Posted on February 17, 2011, in Anthropogenic Global Warming, Cancun COP16, Church Of Climatology, COP16, Copenhagen COP15, IPCC, ManBearPig, Oh FFS and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 7 Comments.

  1. The way forward is for smaller & centralised CHP plants, district heating & HIUs in domestic dwellings.
    These airy fairy windmills are just that…they are fine for grinding corn & draining land..but sod all else!

  2. Altamont Pioneer

    Don’t let your analysis be affected by the fact that all power plants have limited availabilities. Gas plants might average 60% availability annually, equating to a 60% capacity factor. Modern windmills in the best sites in the UK have availabilities in the 35-40% range, exactly as claimed by resource studies before the projects.

    Mid-30’s availability is the norm for many parts of the US Great Plains, exactly as predicted.

    All rotating equipment suffers from downtime, period. Even the best nuclear plants in France average in the mid-high 80’s, some much less.

    Availabilities all over the world for wind turbines are in the 90% range, and modern turbines for the past decade contractually guarantee annual availability of 95-97%.

    But please don’t let facts or performance statistics cloud your views.

    PS. Icing can be a problem, which is why modern turbines take measures to counteract such conditions.

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