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Old 04-05-2009, 11:34   #1
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Join Date: Aug 2003
Boat: Dragonfly 1000 trimaran
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Periodic wind generator check recommended

I ran across a 40 second youtube link which showed a huge land based wind generator which had gone rogue. The limiting device had failed and the wind was really hooting. Eventually one of the blades shredded and instantly, the other two blew up. The tower fell as a result.

The same thing happened to my piling mounted Air X (non marine version) a couple of years ago. It is part of an inverter/battery backup system for the house. I thought I'd save a couple hundred by not gettng the powder coated version, but I was wrong! The hub slowly corroded which expanded and cracked the blade between the two bolts. During a big blow in the middle of the night, the first blade went astray, and the other two followed in pieces. What I found the next morning was the generator hanging upside down by the wires. It had been clamped securely by original parts, but the force generated by the imbalance of the first blade letting go must have been immense. Fortunately, there was no damage to my boat on the other side of the dock. It could easily have had holes punched in it.

I only found about 10% of the blade parts. The biggest piece was only 6 inches long.

I am not posting this to generate fear of wind generators, but to encourage anyone with one to take a good look at the blade mountings and the condition of the central hub. Your life could depend on it.

Steve B.
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Old 04-05-2009, 12:41   #2
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Thanks for that. I just recently put mine back up on the boat here in the yard to keep it from 1) getting stolen 2) getting(possibly) damaged by inactivity 3) to keep my batteries from damage due to inactivity. Mine survived hurricane IKE on board my boat. I'm glad I took the solar panel off to reduce windage before the storm as I'm sure it wouldn't have helped the tower any.
I must go down to the sea again.........
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Old 04-05-2009, 13:05   #3
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Location: Toronto
Boat: CS36Merlin, "La Belle Aurore"
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I take the blades and hub off my Kiss every summer when I put the boat to bed. If you don't do this occasionally you will have a very hard time removing the hub and blades from the shaft.
Rick I
Toronto in summer, Bahamas in winter.
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generator, wind generator

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