Speaking at Onshore Wind Energy 2020 about fire safety in wind turbines

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Clare Hunter, Head of Marketing & Communications at Coltraco Ultrasonics, was invited to speak at RenewableUK Onshore Wind Forum 2020 virtual event on 3rd November 2020 about fire safety in wind turbines.”Following a five-year hiatus, the UK government has signalled that the UK onshore wind market is back open for business by resuming contract for difference auctions for onshore wind and solar. Onshore Wind Energy 2020 is RenewableUK’s event exploring the success of our advocacy and the UK Government’s change in policy towards onshore wind as competitive green energy solution. Member companies, supply chain, international businesses and new entrants will gain first-hand insight on how to be successful in growing onshore wind business in the UK.” Extract taken from the RenewableUK Onshore Wind Forum 2020 here.

An introduction to Wind Turbine Fire Safety by Coltraco Ultrasonics

We aim to raise awareness of the risks of fire safety in power generation assets such as wind turbines, hydro plants etc. We provide innovative ultrasonic solutions to make maintenance and monitoring of fire suppression systems faster, better, cheaper and safer than existing methods.

Wind Power by 2030 

“Wind farms could power every home by 2030” – UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson. “As increasing global demand drives greener energy, let’s enhance our fire safety & minimise the danger to engineers and the surrounding landscape” – Carl Hunter OBE, CEO Coltraco Ultrasonics

Fire Causes Accidents

  • There are over 340,000 wind turbines around the world, however the vast majority have no fire suppression system installed, yet fire is the 2nd cause of accidents after blade failure
  • 10-30% of all loss-of-power-generation incidents in wind power plants are due to fire
  • Fire incidents “from 1 in 2,000 turbines to 1 in 15,000” – Firetrace International

Safety Culture

Wind turbines pose a uniquely high risk and vulnerability to fires. Challenges: remote locations, very tall height, composition of nacelle, heat generation. Example: 2017 Northeast Wyoming a turbine caught fire sparking a wild fire which burnt nearly 1,600 acres. Is it time we had better standards and a  Safety Culture Pledge?

Fire Systems

There are many ways to ensure these fires do not recur. The nacelle should be protected via small gaseous fire suppression systems and rely on them to avoid total loss, before maintenance engineers can get to them.

Solution: Innovation

Fires pose a dangerous threat to business continuity and human life. Yet the installation of fire suppression systems could help minimise this risk. Increasingly wind turbine manufacturers acknowledge the fire risk and retrofitting. We must continue to educate and ensure that no more lives are lost nor critical assets damaged. We must implement best practice with leading fire systems. These safety critical dynamic systems must then be tested and constantly monitored. Quick and accurate routine tests, can make great preventative difference.Proudly Serving the Energy Industry for 30 years. Our customers reflect the energy mix of offshore oil and gas exploration and production, coal fired power stations, hydro gas plants, to nuclear power plants through to renewable energy, such as hydro plants, wind turbines in both onshore and offshore farms and looking ahead to solar thermal. We are now members of UK association RenewableUK and energy association NOF.

  • Award-winning British designer & manufacturer of ultrasonic safety instrumentation
  • Our mission is to deliver the Safesite® to improve safety for people, assets and infrastructure
  • Exporting 89% to 120 countries over 30 years – Queen’s Award 2019 for International Trade
  • Supported by excellent customer service with ODA Service Centres worldwide
  • Focused on science and research: “One of the best of British Innovators” according to InnovateUK
  • Ultrasonics expertise from CEO Dr Carl Hunter OBE who co-founded the company
    with his Father Eric Hunter who was a Royal Naval Submariner for almost 30 years
  • Discover more here

Get in touch

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Coltraco Ultrasonics
NETPark Research Institute
Joseph Swan Road
TS21 3FB

United Kingdom


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Tel (Sales & HQ): +44 20 7629 8475
Tel (Technical): +44 1740 618 240