The World's #1 Renewable Energy Network for News, Information, and Companies.
Untitled Document

Wind Insurance Claim Analysis Reveals Need for Monitoring

Claims for blade damage and gearbox failure top the table for U.S. insurance payouts related to wind energy, according to a new analysis from GCube.

Using data based on reported claims in the U.S. for 2012, the analysis shows that blade damage and gearbox failure account for the greatest number of losses — accounting for 41.4 percent and 35.1 percent of the total claims reported, respectively.

Meanwhile, damage to generators (10.2 percent) and transformers (5.1 percent) ranked third and fourth in the report, with damaged to foundations coming in fifth in terms of claims volumes.

Although the majority of wind turbine blade damage can be attributed to lightning strikes, delamination and improper handling during the construction and installation phase are also frequent and need to be addressed.Lightning over wind farm

Poor maintenance contributes significantly to the leading cause of gearbox failure, with design defect factoring into loss frequency as well.

Considering the costs associated with insurance claims, gearbox claims typically cost the industry US $380,000, while turbine blade claims cost on average of $240,000 per claim. 

Claims associated with the wind turbine foundations are typically higher, averaging $1,300,000, and rose to $2,500,000 in exceptional circumstances throughout 2012.

The average claim cost for repair or replacement includes business interruption and all other related fees and expenses before the insured’s deductible has been applied.

“We will continue to share our claims data and analysis in order to educate our insureds and the U.S. wind energy industry in order to support efforts that improve reliability and maintenance practices within the community. We understand and appreciate the need to reduce the overall cost basis for operating a wind farm and believe that our data highlights the need for condition based monitoring and other proactive measures.” said John McLane, president of GCube Insurance Services Inc. 

McLane added: “That monitoring is especially critical for turbine gearboxes as that component experiences the greatest engineering stress and up tower repair considerations.

“While the industry can do little to reduce the risk of lightning strikes, we are pleased to see some of our insured working with manufacturers and operations and maintenance (O&M) providers to add blade assurance programmes to their maintenance agreements that cover the repair or replacement of a blade damaged by lightning in light of the frequency of this natural occurrence.”

The research also reinforces the belief that turbine durability and implementation of effective O&M programmes are needed for the U.S. wind community to thrive. Report authors note that the top two most frequently reported causes of loss were cited as poor maintenance (24.5 percent) and lightning strikes (23.4 percent). Design defect (11.5 percent), wear and tear (9.3 percent) and mechanical defect (6.2 percent) featured in third, fourth and fifth positions when it came to assessing and understanding the reason cited for the initial claim.

Industry standards define a "design defect" as a fault that is inherent in the design of the product itself.  A "mechanical defect" is a more generic term for a mechanical flaw and/or malfunction.  This includes, but is not limited to, a material defect that would prevent the equipment from functioning as designed, such as metal fatigue, failure and blade delamination.

Read more wind energy news here.

Image: Lightning over wind farm, via Shutterstock

Untitled Document

RELATED ARTICLES

100-MW Kenyan Wind Farm Will Help Power Africa

Renewable Energy World Editors As part of President Obama’s Power Africa initiative, the Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC), the U.S. Government’s development finance institution, announced that it committed $233 million in debt financing to ...

Regional News from the July/August 2015 Digital Edition of Renewable Energy World

Renewable Energy World Editors EcoFasten Solar announced that it launched a new mounting "Rock-It System" that it would be displaying during Intersolar. Product compliance was determined through testing per UL Subject 2703, which reviews integr...

With 1.6 GW of Wind Capacity Installed in Q2, American Wind Power Continues To Ramp Up in 2015

David Ward, American Wind Energy Association With 1,661 megawatts (MW) of newly installed wind turbines coming online during the second quarter of 2015 and more than 13,600 MW under construction, American wind power continues to increase its contribution to the U.S. e...

Some Hope for US Renewable Energy Tax Credits As Extension Bill Passes Committee

Vince Font In a lopsided 23-3 vote, the U.S. Senate Finance Committee voted yesterday to extend a number of renewable energy production tax credits through the end of 2016. The vote allows developers of wind, geothermal, biomass, land...
David Appleyard is a contributing editor. A freelance journalist and photographer, he has some 20 years' experience of writing about the renewable energy sector and is based in Europe.

CURRENT MAGAZINE ISSUE

Volume 18, Issue 4
1507REW_C11

STAY CONNECTED

To register for our free
e-Newsletters, subscribe today:

SOCIAL ACTIVITY

Tweet the Editors! @megcichon @jennrunyon

FEATURED PARTNERS



EVENTS

Doing Business in South Africa – in partnership with GWEC, the Glob...

Wind Energy in South Africa has been expanding dramatically, growing fro...

StartUp Green

AREI, American Renewable Energy Institute, in partnership with ...

AWEA Offshore WINDPOWER 2015 Conference & Exhibition

Building Up and Trending Forward With the construction of the Block Isla...

COMPANY BLOGS

Clean Energy Patents Maintain High Levels in First Quarter, Solar L...

U.S. patents for Clean Energy technologies from the first quarter of 201...

Koch Professor drops his Koch title, still makes same errors plus s...

The Koch Professor’s title isn’t the only thing that’s...

Fact Check: AWEA represents American wind power

The American Wind Energy Association (AWEA) is proud of its members for ...

NEWSLETTERS

Renewable Energy: Subscribe Now

Solar Energy: Subscribe Now

Wind Energy: Subscribe Now

Geothermal Energy: Subscribe Now

Bioenergy: Subscribe Now  

 

FEATURED PARTNERS