Matt Swearingen's homemade Power Star Extreme takes a beating from flying debris in a violent storm.

Matt said in reference to the safety of TLG Windpowers Rotors:
But one thing I can say is, if this were a wooden blade I would have pieces of it in my house, the neighbors house, the barn down the road, and possibly in a house in the next county."

Click on any image to view full size.
Matt's comments on the storm and crash are below the images.

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Look at the blade at the 7' o'clock position
You can see it was the one that got hit.

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The impacted blade is now down at the 6 o'clock position since the rotor was still trying to run.

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That is almost enough to make a grown man cry. :(

Comments from Matt about the storm and the events that transpired during.

The 5 bladed Tri Nado Extreme dies a horrible death. 

I woke up last night (6-7-05) at 11:00pm to go to work I could hear the wind was blowing a little but I didn't think much about it.  Went out into the living room, the kids were watching TV like normal. I opened the fridge and it hit me the electricity is out.
That's the bad thing about having automatic battery back up.
I didn't even realize the juice was out.

Well Ok I walked out into the entry way where my control panel is for the Wind Genny and Power Inverter. 
My first words were Oh Sh# t. I have two gennys running the little one was pumping out 600 watts, I didn't think it could do that much in any wind. It's got the Tri Nado Elite Blade running it but the Genny was just never built for that, I didn't think.
Now the big Genny with the modified 5 bladed Tri Nado Extreme. This thing was cranking out 2KW plus.  I ran to my wind speed meter and, oh now that makes sense it was showing 30mph but it had peaked out at 40mph

My computer has it's own battery back up but it's not connected to the main battery bank so I shut it down before the UPS dies on it, no more wind speed meter.

So by now the wind is really picking up bad nasty nasty wind 50 foot trees are pulling over to what looks like almost a 45degree angle.
Ok so at this point I'm thinking I need to shut this thing down, so I wait for the wind to lul just a bit so not to just rip things apart when throwing the kill switch.
  OK that's done I'm looking at this thing during bursts of lighting otherwise it's pitch black outside.
This went on for about 20 minutes and the whole time the wind just seems to keep getting stronger.

Then it happened I heard that fatal sound of something give way and the sound of the blades just take off making the sound of a helicopter ( almost ), it was very loud and a bit scary I wish I had an RPM reading off of them because I know they were moving.  I could not see them but I could sure hear them like they were going to take off.

Well you guessed it the next thing I heard was the blades hitting the tower.
Lightning lit up the sky, I could see the blades were just mangled, I was not surprised but what did surprise me was the fact that they're still spinning and at pretty good clip too.

I figured that the stator burned out or something but after I got it down this morning I found the stator broke loose from it's mounts and just started spinning with the blades.
The one thing in the whole set up I never gave a second thought to was the sturdiness of the stator mounting, I figured it would hold fine something else if anything would give first.

When I was on my way to work, Late of course because of the whole ordeal the radio said we had over 80MPH winds in our area. I work about 20 miles from home and I was dodging trees in the road the whole way there it's really a mess around here.

But one thing I can say is, if this were a wooden blade I would have pieces of it in my house, the neighbors house, the barn down the road, and possibly in a house in the next county. Even though I lost my new blade in the first real wind I've had since I put it up at least no person was hurt and I can send that message out to all you wooden blade owners.

Thanks for reading my story, now I must go to work on my next wind Genny.

Matt Swearingen

Additional comments from Matt: (6-8-05)

I forgot to mention the balance on this 5 bladed Extreme was excellent right up to the point of destruction. I don't believe I'll ever get them to balance again.

However I've been looking these blades over and I believe I can save 3 of them and put them back up with the old 3 bladed hub and my old stator until I figure out what I want to do next. I do want to get the 5 blades back because I know it had some unbelievable power. I just wish I would have had some 14 to 25 MPH winds before the 80+MPH.

Since I've put it up, my wind meter has only peeked out at 11MPH until last night of course, and I've seen it produce up to 144 watts at around 9mph

Well I think the pictures I sent you will make a great addition to your web site picture gallery.

I have to laugh about the whole experience now that it's over.  Because I know I'm moving in the right direction with this I just need to sturdy things up a bit better before moving on to the 5 blades again and maybe install some sort of braking system besides just shorting it out. I know if I could have stopped it dead everything would have been fine.

Oh well live and learn

Additional comments from Matt as he works on his blades: (6-11-05)

I've been working on straitening blades, I've got 3 real close, 1 not too bad but I don't want to try and use it, but now that 5th one ( Oh My ) this thing after really looking it over close I realized it made contact with the tower about 6 inches in from the tip of the blade and actually stretched the blade.
When I tried to straighten it out it became apparent that this thing was not only bent and twisted, but had stretched out at about 20 inches in from the tip of the blade.
I tried some shrinking methods I've used on auto body repair that helped, but I could not shrink it enough to even get it close to a straight blade.

There is no doubt in my mind that this blade was struck by flying debris and pushed back into the tower.  There is just no way that it could have flexed back so far as to hit the tower 6 inches in from the tip all of a sudden.  The very tips should have made contact with the tower first which should have then slowed the blades down, and of course mangled the tips out.

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