PORTSMOUTH — Parts of the town’s wind turbine were assembled incorrectly, which may have been a contributing factor toward the eventual breakdown of the machine’s gear box, according to a recent inspection report submitted to the town.
The findings come from a May 12 report submitted by the Seattle, Wash. company DA Roberts, LLC (DAR) to Town Planner Gary Crosby. DAR was commissioned to represent the town during a “condition and blade inspection” on the town’s broken wind turbine on May 8.
“During the inspection, several turbine assembly errors became evident, such as improper rotor installation, possible blade pitch calibration, and one ladder splice section that was installed upside down,” states the DAR report. “These items provide additional evidence that improper installation and calibration may be contributing factors in the gearbox failure root cause analysis.”
However, the report also states that “on a positive note, most can be corrected (except for the ladder), which may extend the life of the replacement gearbox.”
DAR’s report was made part of the backup material for the Town Council’s public hearing on the turbine scheduled for 6 p.m. Tuesday, June 3, at Town Hall. At that meeting, the council is expected to decide whether to have the turbine repaired or taken down.
Voters approved a $3 million bond issue in 2007 for the turbine, located at the high school, but it hasn’t spun its blade since June 2012 due to the broken gear box.
According to the DAR report, the blade inspection is not complete due to the rotor installation error. DAR recommended that the blades are re-inspected when the “rotor is on the ground for gearbox replacement.”
Read the full report here.