Officials hope to restart Perkins High School wind turbines by summer

PERKINS TWP. The exact cause of a Perkins High School wind turbine's failure still isn't known, but
susanmcmillan
May 24, 2010

PERKINS TWP.

The exact cause of a Perkins High School wind turbine's failure still isn't known, but officials hope to see all three spinning again this summer.

Superintendent Jim Gunner met this week with representatives from Honeywell, ReDriven Power and Wilkes and Co. to discuss how to ensure the turbines are safe.

"We hope to have all those pieces in place by the end of June," Gunner said. "What those pieces are, I'm waiting on a release from the companies."

On Feb. 8, the blades of one of the three 60-foot turbines flew off, with pieces landing in the student parking lot at the high school, which was empty because it was a Saturday.

"As far as we know, it was a blade failure," said Dave Rengel, vice president of Wilkes and Co. in Huron. "We have not been able to pinpoint the exact cause."

Rengel said the manufacturer, ReDriven, will swap out the 6-meter blades for 5-meter blades and add an enhanced control system that will sense potential problems so operators could shut down the turbines if necessary.

"Once we have the confidence level that everything is working as it should, we'll go back to a larger blade and go forward," Rengel said.

He said the contractors are hopeful the smaller blades will generate just as much energy.