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Renewable energy turbines

Hazard Knowledge

Water turbines

Hydroelectricity is produced when the kinetic energy of flowing water is converted into electricity by a turbine connected to an electricity generator. There are large-scale and small-scale schemes. Refer to the supplementary information for further detail.

Due to the volume of water required for a hydroelectricity system, there may be a risk of flooding or a need to work near water. 

Wind turbines

Wind turbines range from micro (used for signposts and caravans, for example) through to large wind farms. Refer to the supplementary information for further detail.

Turbines have both a brake and gearbox mechanism behind the blades, which allows for greater control of the system and for the generator to be shut down in case of a fault.

Large-scale wind farms will have on-site transformers that increase the voltage of the generated electricity before being fed into the national grid.

Fire and rescue services will not be expected to attend incidents at offshore wind turbine sites. Those sites are required to be self-sufficient for dealing with fires and performing rescues.

At an incident involving a wind turbine, electrical hazards include those typical of any other equipment producing electricity. Short circuits, overheated alternators or generators and gearbox oils are all known to have caused fires in wind farms.

Because of the height of these units, there is a possibility that any item falling from the upper part of the wind turbine could 'plane' and travel a considerable distance from the base of the turbine.