In recent years the use of wind energy has become established with high growth rates and good prospects for the future. Simple rotors have become more and more powerful high-tech power stations. Nowadays the design of new performance classes plus their offshore locations require a high level of investment - and the protection of the investment against interruptions in operation and even total loss. Up till now manufacturer, operator and fire brigades have been helpless when dealing with the risk of a fire.
The machine cabin, the heart of a wind energy facility contains generators, gears, brakes, switch cabinets, transformers and converters, and so represents a specially high fire risk. If a fire should break out as the result of overheating of components, electrical faults or a lightning strike, then the fire will find plenty of combustible material in the form of mineral oils, lubricants, plastics and electronic components. The exposed location of the machine cabin restricts fire departments' attempts at fighting the fire; the usual approach is therefore the controlled, complete burn out. And with offshore facilities any outside help would in any event arrive too late.
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