|The Sunday Post 10th December 2006
Heavy Part drops from above school grounds
ALERT AFTER TURBINE BREAKDOWN
A Scots wind turbine firm has put out an alert after part of a turbine
fell off at a school.
Proven Energy has ordered the shutdown of 30 of its latest turbine type
at locations as far afield as Italy and Orkney.
Gordon Proven, managing director of the manufacturer in Stewarton, Ayreshire,
says the action follows an incident at Deanburn Primary in Boness.
Last month the revolutionary eco-friendly school lost its green energy
supply after a damper, used to control the blades, came off when bolts
The three-inch-square part, weighing several kilos, plunged to the ground
outside school hours when there were no children around.
The three bladed 15 kilowatt turbine is in use in various other places,
around eight in Scotland. Locations include a school in Yorkshire, farmland
in Orkney and Cornwall, and an estate in the Stranraer area.
There are also four in southern Italy where they are used to power mobile
The Company describes the turbine as ideal for light industrial or commercial
use and easily able to power six or seven typical three-bed houses.
The faulty part is being redesigned and will be tested at the Companys
factory for two weeks before being put through its paces in Shetlands
winter wilds for another two months.
It will also be tested by customers whose turbines arent near populated
areas, and will be independently checked by the National Engineering Laboratory
in East Kilbride.
Gordon Proven said, Were very sorry this has happened but
for safety reasons we needed to stop the turbines.
Were urgently redesigning the part and making it a lt more robust
so this cant happen again. We should be able to get the turbines
going again by March.
Falkirk Council said they were happy to keep the one at Deanburn
Primary closed down till then. We offered to replace it with a smaller
It was unfortunate nobody spotted the damage because it took some
time to break off completely, and it must have been rattling a bit before
it fell. But it shouldnt have happened.
Deanburn generates up to half its electricity from the £40,000
turbine but the Council says it will now rely on its conventional electricity
The school was the first of its kind in Scotland when it opened last
year after a fire gutted the previous building in 2002.
The £3m project also has a rainwater collection system to flush
the toilets, green roofs covered in sedum plants breathing
walls to reduce the need for artificial ventilation and its own
Falkirk Council said, The turbine will remain shut down until the
manufacturers get back to us with the redesign. We will want chapter and
verse to make sure its reliable.