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Wind Turbine Fire
Wind Turbine Fire hero

Wind Turbine Fire

In the South of France

Over the last 9 years, Windtex have dealt with numerous fire damaged turbines in the UK and across Europe, throughout this time the team have learnt valuable lessons in how to deal with the situation safely and efficiently.

The first time we encountered a fire damaged turbine was a scary prospect, but one which we couldn’t turn down. Windtex have always strived to face new challenges and this was going to be a big test for the whole team. We have management and technicians who enjoy a challenge, but nobody knew what to expect and our first time seeing the state of what was once a wind turbine, turn into nothing but a blackened tower with a severely damaged nacelle on top.

  • We spent nearly 3 months working on this one turbine, all the time gaining valuable knowledge about the effects of a fire within a wind turbine. The team dealt with safety very cautiously and not a single incident notification was completed, although many risk assessments were. The decommissioning team were kept safe at all times and the turbine was eventually removed to make way for a new one.

    The last fire damaged wind turbine we have dealt with was in the South of France on a turbine variant not very familiar to us when it comes to fire damage, although we have carried out inspections on this particular model.

    We had a few new issues to deal with on this site, mainly security. Due to its location being in a national park, and also being home to an illegal rave, nothing could be left on site and additional security measures had to be put in place to stop the public from putting themselves in danger of falling debris.

    A 3-tier security exclusion zone was implemented to negate and issues with falling debris;

    1. A 200mtr zone was implemented to stop the public getting within 200mtrs of the turbine by means of fencing and security guards.
    2. A 100mtr zone was implemented to stop the client’s technicians from being too near to the turbine
    3. A 40mtr drop zone was implemented which only our team could enter via a specially designed steel tunnel which went straight to the turbine door.

    These additional security measures kept everybody safe from falling debris.

  • The actual work on this turbine was far less than we have experienced on other wind farms. We were contracted to make the nacelle safe only, the inside of the tower was pretty much unscathed.

    First of all, the loose debris was removed via a lowering system designed by the IRATA rope access technicians. This must be done to make the ground level safe from falling objects. Any loose items that were to big to be removed were secured to the nacelle.

  • A fall restraint system was then installed, this was done by installing diagonal 100mm stainless steel wire ropes across the nacelle to structurally sound anchor points. The system was tested and certified safe for use. This system would enable another team to follow us and remove the nacelle.

    An insurance expert was then accompanied by our team to investigate the turbine to look for possible causes of the fire.

  • As always, our team worked tirelessly to ensure that the whole project was completed safely and efficiently, and our client was happy to confirm this.

    To contact us with regards to a fire damaged wind turbine, please contact Phil Turner on 07920 853 065 or pturner@windtex.co.uk

    All matters will be treated with the utmost confidentiality.