Wind farm reduces hurricanes?
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27-02-2014, 01:46 PM (This post was last modified: 27-02-2014 01:51 PM by itsnotmeitsyou.)
Wind farm reduces hurricanes?
I'm hoping someone here has a better understanding of hurricanes than I because I can't seem to wrap my head around this.

Windmill hurricane buffer

I comprehend how taking energy out of the system would reduce it's overall energy/intensity, but the scale seems a bit off to me. According to the data I can find hurricanes can produce upwards of 200x the entire world's energy production. That's in the Petawatt hour range. I don't understand how an array that would only pull a few hundred kilowatt hours would have much of an effect. Again, I am probably missing something about hurricane formation and dynamics here.

Any resident weather experts that could help me make heads or tails of this? Am I missing something, or is this complete bunk?

Excuse me, I'm making perfect sense. You're just not keeping up.

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28-02-2014, 12:09 AM
RE: Wind farm reduces hurricanes?
Well, consider that a hurricane is a positive feedback loop - much like an amp and a microphone. Very small changes can disrupt the entire process. But the simulations involved, didn't stop the hurricanes, but only reduced them significantly. The energy is still there, it just is no longer forming as high of winds or as high a storm surge - it just dissipates the same as it would have had a hurricane not formed.

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28-02-2014, 06:17 AM
Re: Wind farm reduces hurricanes?
I support the concept of fight wind with wind. Doesn't have the ring of fight fire with fire but at least results should be better.

You alter a power source and something won't function as efficiently, I take as the central concept of it.

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04-03-2014, 09:41 PM
RE: Wind farm reduces hurricanes?
And as a plus, that energy can be put to good use.

So long as the turbines don't catch fire like they were doing here 2 weeks ago.

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04-03-2014, 09:51 PM
RE: Wind farm reduces hurricanes?
I am far from being a hurricane expert, but living in the Carolinas I tend to keep an eye on the news when they start churning just because you never know if the 'big one' is coming right at you.
First,
Hurricanes get their energy from the water temp. Shallow warm waters crank up the energy....its not just a big gust of wind. When the waters are cool....I don't think there are hurricanes....which is why they are seasonal (spring/summer/fall)

Second, some of those big ones can be 600 miles across! I don't see how they could get enough windmills out there to have an effect.

In the Gulf of Mexico- there's a couple hundred (if not thousand) oil platforms, and they don't seem to have any effect whatsoever on the storms.

my gut instinct is to say this is far fetched....but I could likely be wrong too.


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05-03-2014, 06:04 AM
RE: Wind farm reduces hurricanes?
I think wind mills can be a negative feedback to a hurricane system. But most hurricanse take form on open ocean surface, so first they can do much about that. Secondly, wind mills are generally built at places where there should be a steady and suitable level of supply of wind, so I don't think anyone is going to invest in wind mills that work like 3 - 5 days / year. Thirdly, I don't know whether commercial wind mills work properly in a hurricane, and even if they do function normally, as you said, how much effect can they make (we can calculate the total power of the wind mills and compare it accordingly to the power of an average hurricane) is defintely a good question.

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05-03-2014, 06:46 AM
RE: Wind farm reduces hurricanes?
this article from Scientific American says they would need 78,000 turbines in the Gulf of Mexico. Ohmy


And I'm not so sure stopping them is the right thing.......I remember reading about the Colorado River having a seasonal flood (before we started taking all the water out of it), and that flood would replenish nutrients, etc and the river remained healthy. But once we started taking the water, stopped the seasonal flooding, the health of the river and the creatures that lived in it didn't do so well. Wouldn't the same concept apply to hurricanes and coastal wetlands? more info

Hurricanes will get worse with global warming because warmer water temps fuel the storms, but I'm not a fan of trying to change the way nature works. Maybe we should stop thinking beachfront property is a good place to build. Consider


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05-03-2014, 07:39 AM
RE: Wind farm reduces hurricanes?
The local weather guy gets totally geeked out when it comes to weather. His FB page is like a meterology classroom- anyway, he's really smart and into this kind of stuff.

I linked the SA article above to him and asked his opinion on Facebook....His response

Quote:Brad Panovich WCNC Once again this an idea great on paper but not really in real life. It's not practically and the effects would be minimal, most of the turbine would be destroyed by waves long before they had any impact on the winds. Which would be less than a few % changes in low level winds.


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05-03-2014, 08:12 AM (This post was last modified: 05-03-2014 09:19 AM by itsnotmeitsyou.)
RE: Wind farm reduces hurricanes?
(05-03-2014 06:46 AM)Bows and Arrows Wrote:  this article from Scientific American says they would need 78,000 turbines in the Gulf of Mexico. Ohmy


And I'm not so sure stopping them is the right thing.......I remember reading about the Colorado River having a seasonal flood (before we started taking all the water out of it), and that flood would replenish nutrients, etc and the river remained healthy. But once we started taking the water, stopped the seasonal flooding, the health of the river and the creatures that lived in it didn't do so well. Wouldn't the same concept apply to hurricanes and coastal wetlands? more info

Hurricanes will get worse with global warming because warmer water temps fuel the storms, but I'm not a fan of trying to change the way nature works. Maybe we should stop thinking beachfront property is a good place to build. Consider

Yeah, I definitely think people need to start reassessing their decisions to build in areas that are already prone to flooding. We'd all have to move 100 miles inland to escape most of the hurricane damage, but there are things that can be done to prevent flooding. At least start building higher up. It's not gonna get any better.

As far as the 78,000 turbines are concerned, I'm still a bit skeptical that they would do much. It's the scale that is giving me pause. Even with that many turbines, you're still only producing about 700 Gigawatts hours. A hurricane the size of Katrina produces energy in the Petawatt hour range over the course of a few weeks. So, the hurricane is producing several thousand times the energy than the turbines could possibly hope to absorb.

I read that the theory is that it would reduce the winds at the edge (still skeptical on how much effect they would have) and that would cause a chain reaction that would mean the hurricane's winds couldn't get up to speed. Again, I'm skeptical of this. Wind turbines are at most a few hundred feet tall, hurricanes are MILES tall. Further, hurricanes don't form right near land where the turbines would be. They form waaay out in the middle of the ocean. By the time it reached the turbines, it would already be at full power and would probably rip the turbines to shreds. (that's a lovely picture: 234,000 fan blades flying around a hurricane Shocking )

If hurricanes can roll over entire island chains and not lose that much energy, I'm having a hard time believing that a few sticks in the water is going to have much effect.

Excuse me, I'm making perfect sense. You're just not keeping up.

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05-03-2014, 08:15 AM
RE: Wind farm reduces hurricanes?
(05-03-2014 07:39 AM)Bows and Arrows Wrote:  The local weather guy gets totally geeked out when it comes to weather. His FB page is like a meterology classroom- anyway, he's really smart and into this kind of stuff.

I linked the SA article above to him and asked his opinion on Facebook....His response

Quote:Brad Panovich WCNC Once again this an idea great on paper but not really in real life. It's not practically and the effects would be minimal, most of the turbine would be destroyed by waves long before they had any impact on the winds. Which would be less than a few % changes in low level winds.

Thanks. You rule! The only sources I've been able to find online are either climate change denial sites who decry any use of renewables or environmentalist sites who are breathlessly calling for immediate implementation of this, real world be damned.

Excuse me, I'm making perfect sense. You're just not keeping up.

"Let me give you some advice, bastard: never forget what you are. The rest of the world will not. Wear it like armor, and it can never be used to hurt you." - Tyrion Lannister
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