Turbine blade repaired after lightning strike

A lightning strike blasted a hole the size of a fist in one of the blades of Burradale Windfarm turbine “Betsy”.

Fred Gibson was lifted 25 metres to repair the damaged tip on
Fred Gibson was lifted 25 metres to repair the damaged tip on “Betsy”.

The turbine, a Vestas V52, was damaged on 5th December when a section of the trailing edge was torn.

Burradale operator Shetland Aerogenerators Ltd appointed Fred Gibson, of local firm Shetland Composites to fix it. Mr Gibson had previously carried out repair work on the turbines.

Strong winds meant it was late last week before he was able to ascend in the basket of a crane provided by SBS Peterson to carry out the work at 25 metres.

Mr Gibson said: “We cut off all the damaged bits of fibreglass and some of the filler. We used fast setting filler to replace what we had removed and clamped it.

“Down on the ground Ross Williamson [Mr Gibson’s colleague] used templates to wet out e-glass with epoxy resin. We then went back up to put them on using an epoxy filler, clamped it and wrapped it in an electric blanket which we left on overnight to cure the resin.

“Finally, we re-filled and sanded the repaired blade tip to get back the correct aerodynamic shape and finished it off with a thick coat of epoxy paint. This wasn’t the easiest of jobs especially at this time of year but we are always up for a challenge.”

A lightning strike punched a hole the size of a fist in the turbine blade.
A lightning strike punched a hole the size of a fist in the turbine blade.


Add Your Comment
  • john n oakes

    • December 18th, 2013 15:59

    Thor not happy with the wind turbine keeping him awake.


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