Faulty adhesive blamed for wind turbine blade falling off

Insufficient adhesive was to blame for a 170-foot wind turbine blade that fell off a wind turbine at the Octotillo wind energy project in California, according to Siemens, which supplied the wind turbines and their parts. The wind farm is currently back online.

The separation occurred where the fiberglass laminate of the wind turbine blade meets a pre-cast blade root adjacent to the wind turbine’s revolving hub, according to Power Engineering.

Siemens said the B53 wind turbine blade was also involved in a similar incident at MidAmerican Energy’s 200 MW Eclipse wind farm in Iowa in April. In response, the German manufacturer said it would halt the use of all turbines using the B53 blade after the two incidents, with the turbines either being stopped or slowed until the company could determine if they were at risk for a similar incident.

The blade is used on about 700 turbines globally, with 600 of those turbines located in the U.S.

According to Siemens, all wind turbines using the B53 blades have been inspected, and most have been returned to operation.

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