Wind farm reduces hurricanes?
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05-03-2014, 09:46 AM
RE: Wind farm reduces hurricanes?
(05-03-2014 08:12 AM)itsnotmeitsyou Wrote:  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.

Hurricanes don't produce energy, they are an expression of energy. The heat was being radiated before the hurricane formed, and continues after it dissipates. To stop a positive feedback loop, you don't have to hit it with high energy, you just have to disrupt the feedback mechanism, and that disruption has a lot of leverage.

For example, suppose you have a microphone and amps feeding back on eachother. You don't have to counter the sound with equivalent energy to stop the feedback. All you have to do is move the microphone slightly.

...that said, the thought experiment of these turbines is impractical.

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05-03-2014, 10:06 AM
RE: Wind farm reduces hurricanes?
(05-03-2014 09:46 AM)toadaly Wrote:  
(05-03-2014 08:12 AM)itsnotmeitsyou Wrote:  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.

Hurricanes don't produce energy, they are an expression of energy. The heat was being radiated before the hurricane formed, and continues after it dissipates. To stop a positive feedback loop, you don't have to hit it with high energy, you just have to disrupt the feedback mechanism, and that disruption has a lot of leverage.

For example, suppose you have a microphone and amps feeding back on eachother. You don't have to counter the sound with equivalent energy to stop the feedback. All you have to do is move the microphone slightly.

...that said, the thought experiment of these turbines is impractical.

Thanks for the further info. I misspoke on using producing when I actually meant releasing.

The impracticality of it is fairly obvious except to the people who believe it would actually be "free".

On the topic of the feedback loop. Once the hurricane was fully formed (way out in the ocean) wouldn't the energy already contained in the hurricane be more than the turbines could deal with? And also, they would only reduce wind speeds at surface level. Most of the energy transfer inside a hurricane takes place in the convection currents caused by warm, moist air. That would still occur unabated.

And again, why would a hurricane be able to roll over islands that take up more space than the proposed wind farm do, but not over the wind farm. It seems to me that the dry land would cause more wind reduction at the edges while also reducing the warm moisture uptake.

Please, if I'm ignorant about something here, teach me. I am by no means an expert on this subject.

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

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05-03-2014, 10:51 AM
RE: Wind farm reduces hurricanes?
(05-03-2014 10:06 AM)itsnotmeitsyou Wrote:  On the topic of the feedback loop. Once the hurricane was fully formed (way out in the ocean) wouldn't the energy already contained in the hurricane be more than the turbines could deal with?

...presumably, they would be engineered to withstand hurricanes. I don't think that aspect is theoretical, because sea based turbines already exist, and there probably is serious consideration to putting them in the gulf of Mexico.

Quote:And again, why would a hurricane be able to roll over islands that take up more space than the proposed wind farm do, but not over the wind farm. It seems to me that the dry land would cause more wind reduction at the edges while also reducing the warm moisture uptake.

The simulation doesn't show the turbines stopping the hurricane. It only shows that they slow wind speeds down by a few percent.

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05-03-2014, 10:57 AM
RE: Wind farm reduces hurricanes?
If we're going to build wind farms to deal with our energy needs, we don't need to be prioritizing hurricanes. It's not the point of wind farms in the first place. If it happens to help dissipate a hurricane or tropical storm, whatever, but the main point is to provide electricity.

Even if you were looking at it from an electricity standpoint, harnessing the energy of the hurricane won't necessarily give us energy when and where we need it. It's way too unpredictable. And even if we did get a crap ton of energy from a hurricane, who's to say we'd be able to use it all?

Not to mention possible damage... If I were building a wind farm, I'd build it in a regularly windy area that isn't as likely to be hit by a hurricane.

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05-03-2014, 11:06 AM
RE: Wind farm reduces hurricanes?
(05-03-2014 10:51 AM)toadaly Wrote:  
(05-03-2014 10:06 AM)itsnotmeitsyou Wrote:  On the topic of the feedback loop. Once the hurricane was fully formed (way out in the ocean) wouldn't the energy already contained in the hurricane be more than the turbines could deal with?

...presumably, they would be engineered to withstand hurricanes. I don't think that aspect is theoretical, because sea based turbines already exist, and there probably is serious consideration to putting them in the gulf of Mexico.

I know that there are turbines that can physically withstand that kind of wind speed, but they can only do so in a locked position with the blades feathered. I.E. in the most aerodynamic position possible. Above around 55mph, they tend to fly apart and catch fire. This would further diminish the energy reduction effect.

Quote:And again, why would a hurricane be able to roll over islands that take up more space than the proposed wind farm do, but not over the wind farm. It seems to me that the dry land would cause more wind reduction at the edges while also reducing the warm moisture uptake.
Quote:The simulation doesn't show the turbines stopping the hurricane. It only shows that they slow wind speeds down by a few percent.

The simulation shows wind speeds slowing by far more than a "few" percent.
Quote:According to the simulations, a wind farm placed off the coast of New Orleans could have reduced Hurricane Katrina's wind speed by 36-44 meters per second (between 80-98 mph)

80 - 98 mph is 60 -70% of Katrina's wind speeds. I know that it doesn't stop the hurricane in it's tracks. But claims that it could reduce the speed by that much would effectively reduce the storm to a tropical depression.

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

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05-03-2014, 11:14 AM
RE: Wind farm reduces hurricanes?
(05-03-2014 10:57 AM)Colourcraze Wrote:  If we're going to build wind farms to deal with our energy needs, we don't need to be prioritizing hurricanes. It's not the point of wind farms in the first place. If it happens to help dissipate a hurricane or tropical storm, whatever, but the main point is to provide electricity.

Even if you were looking at it from an electricity standpoint, harnessing the energy of the hurricane won't necessarily give us energy when and where we need it. It's way too unpredictable. And even if we did get a crap ton of energy from a hurricane, who's to say we'd be able to use it all?

Not to mention possible damage... If I were building a wind farm, I'd build it in a regularly windy area that isn't as likely to be hit by a hurricane.

I don't think there's any danger of anyone actually implementing something as ridiculous as this.

I agree though. I love renewables, but it irritates the hell out of me when people claim that we could go to 100% wind and solar tomorrow if we just REALLY TRIED. You have to have a solid, reliable base generation plant to provide the vast majority of the energy just so your grid doesn't explode/collapse. We either need to develop and deploy a better grid, or use cleaner base load producers.

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

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05-03-2014, 11:24 AM
RE: Wind farm reduces hurricanes?
(05-03-2014 11:06 AM)itsnotmeitsyou Wrote:  I know that there are turbines that can physically withstand that kind of wind speed, but they can only do so in a locked position with the blades feathered. I.E. in the most aerodynamic position possible. Above around 55mph, they tend to fly apart and catch fire. This would further diminish the energy reduction effect.

...if we're talking theory...why couldn't it be done? Turbines in jet engines deal with wind speeds many times higher than hurricanes. I'm not saying it would make economic sense, but it does not seem to me to be an impossible engineering task.

Quote:The simulation shows wind speeds slowing by far more than a "few" percent.
Quote:According to the simulations, a wind farm placed off the coast of New Orleans could have reduced Hurricane Katrina's wind speed by 36-44 meters per second (between 80-98 mph)

Fair enough. It's been more than 24 hours since I had read the link and got myself confused.

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05-03-2014, 11:25 AM
RE: Wind farm reduces hurricanes?
(05-03-2014 11:14 AM)itsnotmeitsyou Wrote:  I agree though. I love renewables, but it irritates the hell out of me when people claim that we could go to 100% wind and solar tomorrow if we just REALLY TRIED. You have to have a solid, reliable base generation plant to provide the vast majority of the energy just so your grid doesn't explode/collapse. We either need to develop and deploy a better grid, or use cleaner base load producers.

I think one of the articles I read today...the SA?? article?? .....mentioned the work one of these guys is working on that has a plan to power everyone with renewables. I guess he has it all mapped out Smile I think its something to do with mapping the jet stream, etc and putting the turbines there, and a variety of other things. I will dig around to see if I can find it later, I have some other things I need to do at the moment.


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05-03-2014, 11:43 AM
RE: Wind farm reduces hurricanes?
(05-03-2014 11:25 AM)Bows and Arrows Wrote:  I think one of the articles I read today...the SA?? article?? .....mentioned the work one of these guys is working on that has a plan to power everyone with renewables. I guess he has it all mapped out Smile I think its something to do with mapping the jet stream, etc and putting the turbines there, and a variety of other things. I will dig around to see if I can find it later, I have some other things I need to do at the moment.

Can it be done? Sure. We could expand the national grid capacity so that power from Nevada could be diverted to North Dakota, to deal with long lasting weather events. Numerous storage mechanisms could be used, including hydrolysis of sea water to produce and compress hydrogen for night time use, which then also produces fresh water as a byproduct - killing two environmental birds with one stone.

Does all this make economic sense? ...hard to say. Presently, the environmental costs of oil and coal are heavily socialized, which makes it difficult to make a fair economic comparison.

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05-03-2014, 11:49 AM
RE: Wind farm reduces hurricanes?
(05-03-2014 11:24 AM)toadaly Wrote:  
(05-03-2014 11:06 AM)itsnotmeitsyou Wrote:  I know that there are turbines that can physically withstand that kind of wind speed, but they can only do so in a locked position with the blades feathered. I.E. in the most aerodynamic position possible. Above around 55mph, they tend to fly apart and catch fire. This would further diminish the energy reduction effect.

...if we're talking theory...why couldn't it be done? Turbines in jet engines deal with wind speeds many times higher than hurricanes. I'm not saying it would make economic sense, but it does not seem to me to be an impossible engineering task.

I actually work in the jet turbine industry right now. There is a big difference in how the forces work on each. Jet turbines are MUCH smaller in diameter than wind turbines. Orders of magnitude smaller. Turbulence and vibration increase exponentially with increased diameter. We've had to tackle huge issues with slight increases in diameter. There's also a huge difference on where the force exerted is coming from. In a jet turbine, all the force is coming from within an enclosed space and can be routed and manipulated through air channels. Not so much with giant external fan blade where all the force is coming from an outside source. The two are not very comparable when dealing with wind speeds.

I'm not saying it will never be possible to engineer wind turbine that could withstand hurricane force winds while still operating. But it IS impossible with current designs and materials available. At least within any measure of reasonable cost. With currently available, economically viable materials, the blades would either be so stiff the turbulence would snap them, flexible enough that vibration would rip them apart, or so heavy they wouldn't spin.

We either need a better material that can be produced cheaply or a better design that doesn't have the same flaws.

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

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