125 mph winds blow away Unalaska wind turbine
December 18, 2009
From KUCB in Unalaska: UNALASKA, AK (kucb) – The wind storm that knocked over the crane had similar negative effects on the local residential wind-powered electric generators. The storm, which blew at least 125 miles per hour, completely dislodged the helix shaped turbine that was installed on Haystack hill. The blades and shaft blew away and were later located by divers. The tower stayed up. Helix, the company that built the turbine, is sending a new unit to replace the destroyed one. Helix CEO Ian Gardner said they are also sending a wind monitoring system.
“The real problem here was that the customers didn’t have a way to monitor wind speed in real time. They didn’t realize that they were reaching the upper threshold of the design limit and have the opportunity to shut the unit down,” he explained. “Because I believe the original storm forecast were for wind speeds in the 40, 50, 60 mile per hour range, and it ended up being double that.” Read more