Accident d'éolienne des lourds morceaux tombent sur une école
The Sunday Post 10th December 2006

The Sunday Post 10th December 2006

Heavy Part drops from above school grounds
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 Bo’ness.

Last month the revolutionary eco-friendly school lost its green energy supply after a damper, used to control the blades, came off when bolts broke.

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 phone masts.

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 Company’s factory for two weeks before being put through its paces in Shetland’s winter wilds for another two months.

It will also be tested by customers whose turbines aren’t near populated areas, and will be independently checked by the National Engineering Laboratory in East Kilbride.

Gordon Proven said, “We’re very sorry this has happened but for safety reasons we needed to stop the turbines.

We’re urgently redesigning the part and making it a lt more robust so this can’t 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 model.

“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 shouldn’t 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 supply.

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 weather station.

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 it’s reliable.”

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