MCS suspends Proven P35 and P35-2 wind turbines due to faults (revised)
Posted by Cathy Debenham on 27 September 2011 at 9:55 am
Proven Energy has gone into liquidation following discovery of an acute technical defect in its 15kW wind turbines (known as P35 and P35-2). Owners of the turbines are advised to temporarily brake them, and sales of these models has been suspended. MCS has suspended them from its accredited products list. The P-7 and P-11 turbines are not affected.
The fault is thought to be in the drive shaft, which needs strengthening to avoid metal fatigue. Repar of this fault is expected is expected to cost between £1,000 and £1,500 for turbines with and without the fault identified, according to a thread on the Green Building Forum.
The Microgeneration Certification Scheme (MCS) is liaising with relevant parties to co-ordinate the response to the situation. It advises people those affected to contact their MCS certificated Installation Company. Installation companies are in turn advised to contact their MCS Certification Bodies for further guidance.
Following MCS's suspension of the turbines no further installations of 15kW wind turbines (P35 or P35-2) commissioned from today onwards can be registered with MCS. This means they will not be eligible for the feed-in tariff.
KPMG, the receivers for the company, has set a deadline of today for bids to buy Proven Energy, and more may be known once a buyer is in place.
MCS has published the following Q&A, which seeks to address those questions that we are currently in a position to answer. There may be several left unanswered for those affected.
Why did MCS certify a small wind turbine which has subsequently failed?
The MCS tests and certification of wind turbines are robust and follow international and European standards. Certification cannot guarantee that products will not fail but it does give greater assurance. At this stage it is unclear why the products failed and we therefore await further information about the situation.
Why was Proven allowed to remain in the MCS when it had a wind turbine failure over 18 months ago?
Proven did experience a wind turbine failure over 18 months ago but the company and their MCS Certification Body properly investigated this failure and carried out remedial action to the satisfaction of that MCS Certification body.
Does this wind turbine failure affect those consumers who have installed the Proven P35 or P35-2 and are receiving Feed-In Tariffs?
Generators who have installed the Proven P35 or P35-2 should follow the safety advice of braking those systems, and then contacting their installation company for further advice. As long as the installations are not generating they will not receive FITs. Until further investigations are completed into the technical problem facing these turbines, it is unclear what the long term future for operators of these turbines will be.
What should I do if I have purchased a Proven P35 or P35-2 turbine but not yet had it commissioned?
You should contact your MCS certified installation company for further information and not turn it on until the installation company have been informed that it is safe to do so.
When can I start generating again?
It is unclear at this stage who will be responsible for making that decision, as the company is now in the hands of the receiver Pending investigation of the technical issue, Proven Energy advised that the turbines should be shutdown. You should liaise with your installer before restarting your turbine. Should remedial action be required we would advise that it be carried out by a competent and MCS approved installer. Anyone who chooses not to follow the manufacturer’s advice will be doing so at their own risk.
Update (17 October 2010)
Proven Energy has been bought by Kingspan Renewables, which will continue to produce the 3kW and 6kW models. It will decide at a later date whether to launch a 15kW model. People with any claims relating to warranties on Proven Energy turbines should contact the receivers at KPMG, and not Kingspan Renewables.
If you have a question about anything in the above blog, please ask it in the comments section below.
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