Why Are Wind Turbines So Creepy?

Those who allege that wind turbines cause health concerns in communities face a double whammy, according to a report I published last night.

Researchers from the University of Auckland performed an experiment this week showing that persons who had been primed by seeing internet information regarding health issues caused by wind turbines reported increased symptoms after being exposed to recorded infrasound or sham (fake) infrasound.

The study offered compelling evidence for the nocebo hypothesis, which states that when anti-wind farm groups promote dread and worry about wind turbines, some people will experience those symptoms.

The scaremongers get a double punch in the form of a historical audit of all complaints about wind farm noise or health problems on all 49 wind farms in Australia. In 1993, the first wind farm at Australia, which is still operational today, began generating electricity in Esperance, Western Australia. Our 49 wind farms have turned 1471 turbines for a total of 328 years in the last 20 years.

Is it common for people to be afraid of windmills?

A WOMAN is so afraid of wind farms that she feels compelled to lie down or hide whenever she sees one.

Alison Prior has an unreasonable dread of whirling electrical generators, which she claims began when she was a child after seeing a giant pink mechanical gorilla.

The situation

Anemomenophobia is a medical term for a fear of turbines that causes excruciating panic in victims.

Alison, a 33-year-old hairdresser, is so irritated by the wind that she nearly crashes her car as they loom over the horizon.

“I was on vacation up north, and they were right off the highway.” She stated, “I almost crashed because I was so afraid.”

“If I pass a lorry carrying a wind turbine component, I must come to a halt and exit the road.”

“My heart begins to race, the hairs on the back of my neck stand on edge, and I feel compelled to lie down, hide, or flee.”

She also has a dread of other giant mechanical devices, which she believes stems from her childhood terror of a large pink mechanical gorilla that used to startle her at a market.

It has helped her control some of her worry to some level, which is useful given the amount of turbines near her home in West Calder, West Lothian.

Is there anyone who has died as a result of a wind turbine?

After blade failure, fire in wind turbines is the second most common form of accident reported. While some models of wind turbines have a larger danger of fire than others, all wind turbines contain fire risk elements. Highly flammable materials, including as hydraulic oil and polymers, are stored near electrical cables and equipment within the nacelle. If there is an ignition source, such as an electrical arc or a fault within the transformer, a fire can quickly start and spread. Fires in turbines are less common than in other energy businesses, but the financial consequences are enormous, costing upwards of $4.5 million. In this article, we’ll look at five different wind turbine fires.

#1 San Gorgonio Pass

The View Fire, which started in June 2012 in the Whitewater area east of Cabazon in Riverside County, California, was caused by a wind turbine fire. Despite efforts such as cleaning grass and debris from the turbines’ bases, the turbine fire ignited a wildfire that burned 367 acres. Authorities were alerted when many witnesses reported the fire, and residents in the box canyon were evacuated. Over 100 firemen fought the fire on the ground and from planes to get it under control in less than 24 hours. There were no injuries or structural damage reported.

#2 Piet de Wit Wind Farm

There had never been a human death as a result of a wind turbine fire before 2013. On Tuesday, October 29, 2013, it all changed when two of the four mechanics working on a wind turbine in Ooltgensplaat, Netherlands, were killed. A fire trapped the mechanics, aged 19 and 21, on the top of the turbine, and they killed as a result. The fire service had difficulty extinguishing the fire due to the height of the turbine and its position. To tackle the fire, a professional team of firefighters was dispatched with a big crane, which took many hours. One mechanic was discovered on the ground near the turbine’s base, while the second victim was recovered by the specialized crew from the turbine’s top. The other two mechanics were able to get away without harm. The fire was caused by a short circuit, according to Deltawind.

#3 Harvest Wind II

A wind turbine caught fire in Oliver Township, near the community of Elkton, in Michigan’s Thumb-region, on Monday, April 1, 2019. Because they lacked the equipment to reach the height of the wind turbine, the attending fire brigade was unable to put out the fire. They also had limited access to the location because the on-fire turbine was about a half-mile off the main road. However, as the turbine was burning out, first responders were able to set up a perimeter and secure the area. Exelon, the wind farm’s owner, also turned off the power to the other 32 turbines on the property as a precaution. Since November 2012, the Harvest II Wind Project has been active. Over the last 10 years, two other wind turbine fires have been reported at different wind farms throughout Michigan.

#4 Juniper Canyon

On Saturday, July 19, 2019, melted pieces of a wind turbine caught fire in southern Washington state, igniting the surrounding grass and bush. The fire grew, resulting in the Juniper Fire, which burned over 250 acres and threatened 39 houses. The Pine Creek Drainage region was placed under a level three evacuation order during the wildfire. Nearly 200 people were involved in the firefighting effort, according to officials. Twenty-five fire units, two dozers, and two engines, as well as two strike teams and three hand crews, were dispatched across Klickitat County. On day three, the fire was 99 percent extinguished, with no injuries or structural damage reported. The wind farm is divided into two parts, each having 128 turbines.

#5 Buffalo Gap

The Rhodes Ranch 3 Fire in Mulberry Canyon is being blamed on a wind turbine fire near Abilene, Texas. On Monday, August 26, 2019, a wind turbine caught fire, sparking a wildfire that scorched 250 acres. To construct containment lines, bulldozers and graders were brought in. Firefighters had added obstacles due to the rough terrain, record temperatures of 109 degrees, and the fire’s growth into a tiny canyon area. A fire truck and a single-engine plane dispersed fire retardant, while a helicopter dropped water on hot spots. Firefighters scoured the area for hot spots and kept an eye on the containment lines. The fire was 90 percent extinguished in two days. The turbine was declared completely destroyed.

Because of the height of the wind turbines, the distant locations, and in some cases, the rugged terrain, the chances of a fire brigade being able to put out a wind turbine fire are slim. The only alternative during these fires is to let the turbine burn out on its own. On the other side, there are actions that can be taken to prevent this. Automatic fire suppression devices installed near probable ignition sources or fire-prone locations and components within the wind turbine will detect and suppress a fire before it spreads out of control.

The proportion of rural patients reporting harmful effects from exposure to industrial wind turbines is expected to rise in Canada, according to family physicians (IWTs). Reduced quality of life, irritation, tension, sleep disturbance, headache, anxiety, depression, and cognitive dysfunction have all been reported by those who live or work in close proximity to IWTs. Anger, grief, and a sense of unfairness have all been experienced by some. Wind turbine noise, infrasound, unclean electricity, ground current, and shadow flicker have all been suggested as possible causes of symptoms. 1 Patients experiencing adverse effects from IWTs may have severe and pervasive symptoms, and may feel further victimized by a lack of caregiver comprehension. Family physicians should be aware of this.

What is Hippopotomonstrosesquippedaliophobia, and what does it mean?

Hippopotomonstrosesquippedaliophobia is one of the longest words in the English language, and it’s also the name for a fear of lengthy words, in an ironic twist. Another name for the fear is sesquipedalophobia.

This phobia is not formally recognized by the American Psychiatric Association. Hippopotomonstrosesquippedaliophobia, on the other hand, is classified as a social phobia.

The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5) has a very clear definition for social phobias in its most recent edition. The DSM-5 is a diagnostic tool used by medical professionals.

The DSM-5 includes the following criteria for social phobias:

  • a dread or worry about being inspected in social circumstances, such as meeting new people or having a conversation
  • The anxiety or terror is out of proportion to the social situation.
  • The fear or anxiety is constant, and social situations are avoided to an excessive degree.
  • Clinical distress is caused by fear, worry, or avoidance.

What is the world’s rarest phobia?

The dread of peanut butter clinging to the roof of your mouth is known as arachibutyrophobia. While everyone has experienced the phenomenon at some point, persons with arachibutyrophobia are terrified of it. Arachibutyrophobia varies in severity from person to person. Some people with this illness may be able to eat modest amounts of peanut butter, while others will avoid anything with a similar consistency entirely.

Arachibutyrophobia is a rare phobia that can develop as a result of a larger fear of sticky substances or choking. It could also be the result of an unpleasant experience with peanut butter, such as choking on it or developing an allergy to it.

Is it possible to touch a wind turbine?

“They’re quite safe to touch, though we wouldn’t recommend it during a rainstorm.” This is one of the myths we attempt to debunk, and the DTI’s guidance will only serve to reinforce it. Following a spate of mishaps, the DTI’s engineering inspectorate published instructions prohibiting people from touching the turbines.

Is it possible for lightning to strike wind turbines?

Wind turbines, like tall trees, skyscrapers, and telephone poles, are easy targets for lightning since they are hundreds of feet above ground. They will be struck simply because of their height.

For traditional wind turbine blades, lightning protection technologies are available. Blades created from a new type of material, thermoplastic resin composites, and manufactured utilizing an innovative thermal (heat-based) welding process devised by scientists at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory, however, required protection (NREL).

Thermoplastic materials, such as plastic bottles, can be recycled more easily than the thermoset materials now utilized to manufacture wind turbine blades. While thermoset materials must be heated to cure, thermoplastics cure at ambient temperature, reducing blade production time and cost.

These gains are enabled by NREL’s patent-pending thermal welding technique for thermoplastic blades, which replaces the adhesives currently utilized to join blade components. Welding rather than adhesives avoids the disadvantages of extra weight and the risk of cracking.

While thermal welding has advantages, it also necessitates the inclusion of a metal heating element within the blade, which might attract lightning. As a result, a team of NREL researchers lead by Robynne Murray and backed by GE and LM Wind Power (a GE subsidiary) devised a new lightning protection system to keep the revolutionary thermoplastic materials safe.

How far can ice be thrown by a wind turbine?

Figures 46 depict the results for various-size blade sections from various-size turbines at various wind speeds and blade tip speeds. The possible blade throw distance for a 2.3-MW turbine was predicted to be 500 m (1,640 ft) for standard tip speeds (figs 4 and 5), and 900 m for a 5-MW turbine (2,953 ft). At the “The equivalent distances were 800 m (2,625 ft) and 1500 m (fig 6) at extreme tip speeds (fig 6). (4,921 ft).

This paper tries to better assess the implications of wind turbine failures by forecasting the trajectories of detached fragments from wind turbines. The external loads and moments are calculated using the blade element approach, and the trajectories of thrown objects are calculated using the solution to equations of motion and rotation. We expanded on previous work by including dynamic stall and wind fluctuations due to shear, as well as varied throw scenarios such as throwing the full blade or a portion of it, as well as throwing accumulated ice on the blade. Upscaling laws are used to mimic trajectory for current wind turbines ranging in size from 2 to 20 MW. Initial release angle, tip speed ratio, detachment geometry, and blade pitch setting are all subjected to extensive parametric analysis. At tip speeds of about 70 m/s (normal operating conditions), pieces of blade (weighing between 7 and 16 tons) are thrown out less than 700 meters for the entire range of wind turbines, while turbines operating at the extreme tip speed of 150 m/s may be subject to blade throw of up to 2 kilometers from the turbine. Maximum ice throw distances of around 100 and 600 m were achieved under standstill and normal running circumstances of the wind turbine, respectively, with ice pieces weighing 0.4 to 6.5 kg. The models, when supplemented with risk assessment studies, can be valuable in revising wind turbine setback limits.

Lyngby, Denmark: Section of Fluid Mechanics, Department of Wind Energy, Technical University of Denmark

Original document can be downloaded here: “Analysis of detached object throw lengths from horizontal-axis wind turbines

  • Jonathan Rogers, Nathan Slegers, and Mark Costello, “A method for determining wind turbine setback criteria,” Wind Energy 2012; 15:289303. (463 m for a 2-MW Vestas turbine)