Safety management for Wind Turbines

For the safety by design course individual assignment, the topic chosen was the safety management of a wind turbine. The decision was based on the fact that nowadays wind energy is becoming more and more important. Wind energy is a source of renewable energy. It is inexhaustible, and reduces the use of fossil fuels, which are the origin of greenhouse gasses that cause global warming. For these reasons, producing electricity through wind energy and its efficient use, contributes to a sustainable development. Wind energy does not emit toxic substances or contaminants into the air, which can be very damaging to the environment and to human beings. Air contaminants can trigger heart disease, cancer and respiratory diseases like asthma. [1] Unlike fossil fuels and nuclear power plants, wind energy has one of the lowest water consumption footprints, which makes it a key for conserving hydrological resources [2]. But how does a wind turbine work? Wind turbines are used to convert wind into electricity. The kinetic energy of the wind is first converted into mechanical energy by the rotors of the wind turbines and then into electricity, which is transferred into the grid. Wind turbines are installed both onshore, including inland and costal installations, and offshore, referring to those installations that are located away from the coast. Whether located onshore or offshore, wind turbines consist of similar components [3]. In the first section of the report we will go through the principles for safe integration. In this part we will be presenting the system, the surrounding environment as well as the people that have an interest in the system. We will be also analysing how these 3 elements interact with each other. The next section of the report is dedicated to the safety objectives. Here, the concept of safety integrity level (SIL) is going to be explained and a SIL environment in which the system is suitable to be used within, will be picked. Also, in this section, the regulations and standards and safety requirements that must be fulfilled by our system are presented. The following section of the report is dedicated to the identification and analysis of the system’s hazards. In this section we will be resorting to the history of accidents and some literature research to list hazards. We will then use a hazard risk matrix to identify which of the listed hazards are unacceptable and give a list of measures to try to design them out, or at least reduce their impact. The mentioned hazard risk matrix evaluates the hazards’ severity and probability. Then we will present the safety culture concept as well as suggest some safety indicators that can allow the system to be monitored. In the last section of the assignment we will prove that our system of interest is safe. This will be done by showing that the main hazards have been identified and controlled.

The full report, as well as the presentation, can be seen by following this link: