Wind turbine fires are bad news for many reasons. From developers to operators and owners, manufacturers to workers, fire incidents at wind assets can hugely negatively affect everyone. Whether by causing injuries to onsite workers, detriment to future wind projects, or intangible wounds to the reputations of all involved entities – turbine fires deeply mar the industry.
Fire departments respond to more than one million fires each year in the United States alone. And while that number has been steadily decreasing since the 1970s, fires still present the potential for extremely hazardous situations whenever they occur. But while they all burn, not all fires are the same. In order to group fires—and the ways to extinguish them—fire professionals developed a system to classify fires.
Turbine fires present significant financial and reputational risks to the wind industry. Manufacturers, project owners, and operators have all taken major steps to reduce fire risk, but to date, most wind turbine fires are covered under insurance policies. However, as renewable energy insurers tighten terms and conditions and increase premiums and rates, the wind industry may have to cover more of the cost if a turbine is destroyed by fire.
The exact industry-wide risk for wind turbine fires is hard to pin down. Statistics vary between sources from 1 in 2,000 to 1 in 15,000. As the number of operating wind turbines grows, the total number of wind turbine fires per year will increase unless owners and operators fully manage fire risk. The wind industry takes fire risk very seriously, but often, owners and operators don’t always know where to start when it comes to evaluating their wind turbine’s fire risk.
The wind industry has experienced extensive growth since an initial boom in the mid-1990s. Wind power is poised to become a prominent part of the energy supply for global demand. However, as wind turbines get bigger and more expensive, fire risk is becoming a greater concern for the industry.
A fire suppression system’s job is to detect and suppress a fire. With a variety of fire suppression systems available, the system selected should be based on a number of factors including the application and the type of fire hazard.
As we celebrate Earth Day, you may be wondering about the environmental and health impacts of the various chemical suppression agents used in automatic fire suppression systems. Clean agents provide a range of benefits while protecting your critical assets.
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Imagine witnessing a wind turbine fire in person. Most people would be shocked to see a 450 foot turbine in flames. Reports of wind turbine fires appear in the news a few times each year. But how often do wind turbines really catch on fire? And what is the impact? Here's a look at some of the statistics.