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43% of energy equipment failures are turbines

Turbines account for 43% of energy equipment failures in the commercial property sector, according to research from a leading insurer.

The study by FM Global, which claims to be the world’s largest commercial property insurer, showed that turbines are three times more likely to fail than any other machinery used by the energy sector.

Turbine breakdowns have resulted in claims of £870M ($1.35bn) since 2008.

Generators are the second most likely to break down, representing 14% of the total, and leading to insurance pay outs of £279M ($431M).

Third on the list are transformers – 11% of all failures – with £220M (£339M) of claims.

The data does not include equipment used by by major energy industry installations, such as wind farms and nuclear plants.

Thomas Roche, operations engineering manager for FM Global, said: “The figures showing a skew towards generating equipment is no surprise as failures here involve costly pieces of equipment. However looking across the details people often think that maintenance is the key issue. It is a factor but these losses also show that we need to take a keen interest in operating conditions, particularly where changes occur, and in how well we train operators.”

Breakdown of breakdowns:

  1. Turbines 43%
  2. Generators 14%
  3. Transformers 11%
  4. Mineral/metal processing 9%
  5. Chemical vessel/process equipment 7%
  6. Non-rotating electrical 6%
  7. Pulp and paper processing 4%
  8. Compressors  3%
  9. Boilers 3%

Readers' comments (2)

  • It is common practice in online articles to provide links to primary sources. After a bit of searching, I find that the link for the FM Global report appears to be

    NCE needs to be careful. Anyone who follows the this link will be able to see that figures quoted are for *TURBINES* (i.e. including all power-related turbines in coal, hydro, nuclear power plants etc) and not just wind turbines.

    That is an enormous difference and I hope NCE will correct the article.

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

  • Good spot - article amended

  • Thanks for changing the article, a bit surprised that you have edited my original comment though.

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