in News Departments > New & Noteworthy
print the content item

Following an investigation, Siemens says two separate incidents in which a B53 rotor blade broke off were both caused by "adhesive bonding failure." The blades are 53 meters long and used primarily on SWT-2.3-108 turbines in the U.S.

In April, a Siemens service technician discovered a B53 blade on the ground at the Eclipse wind farm. The 200.1 MW project, located in Iowa, features 87 SWT-2.3-108 turbines and is owned by MidAmerican Energy Co.

Another B53 blade then broke off at Pattern Energy’s Ocotillo Wind project in May. The 265 MW facility features 112 SWT-2.3-108 turbines and is in California’s Imperial Valley.

Following the incidents, Siemens launched a root-cause analysis and announced it was curtailing all turbines with the B53 blade type globally. Now that the investigation has ended, a Siemens spokesperson says the blade failures were “not related to the design of the blade.”

“Siemens concluded that the fractures happened as a result of adhesive bonding failure between pre-cast root segments and the fiberglass laminate of the main blade," the spokesperson says. “Root segments are pre-cast inserts used to construct the blade root and are supplied to Siemens by a number of suppliers. The adhesive bonding failure was caused by insufficient surface preparation of the root segments.”

All existing B53 blades have been inspected, and most turbines with the blade type have returned to operation. However, the spokesperson says Siemens will replace a certain number of blades after discovering indications of delamination. 

“As a precautionary measure, Siemens will apply a minor modification in the field to all existing B53 blades worldwide that are not otherwise replaced,” the spokesperson continues. “This upgrade will provide an extra level of protection through an incremental enhancement of the bond between pre-cast root and the fiberglass laminate.”

All wind turbines at MidAmerican’s Eclipse farm are up and running. Pattern Energy ceased operation at Ocotillo following the blade incident, but a company spokesperson has confirmed that Pattern is beginning to bring the project’s turbines back online one at a time. The spokesperson says work will continue at least through the end of this month.


Trachte Inc._id1770
Latest Top Stories

Yahoo Inks Contract To Buy Kansas Wind Power

The Internet company plans to log in to the Alexander wind project, which is being built by community developer OwnEnergy.


Could Initial Offshore Wind Projects Crash New England's REC Market?

Some are concerned that the first offshore wind projects could negatively impact pricing of renewable energy credits (RECs) in New England.


Catching Up With The DOE's Down-Select Offshore Winners

The three recipients of key U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) funding provide updates on their offshore wind demonstration projects.


Texas Comptroller Attacks Wind Power, And Industry Fights Back

Texas Comptroller Susan Combs recently released a report calling for an end to wind power subsidies. The Wind Coalition has responded, saying the report is riddled with misinformation.


How To Mitigate Blade Issues And Costly Downtime

Routinely inspecting your turbine's blades can help identify problems early on, ultimately cutting down unscheduled maintenance costs.

Canwea_id1984
Renewable NRG_id1934