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Harnessing the power of hurricanes


ScienceNostalgia101
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They're hundreds of kilometres wide... so definitely tens of thousands, probably hundreds of thousands, of square kilometres.

 

How efficiently could offshore wind turbines be mass-manufactured in assembly lines if we took all possible money away from building any other type of power plant? (Ie. Coal, oil, natural gas, solar, geothermal, hydroelectric and nuclear?)

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I don't think there would be the slightest prospect of wind farms affecting hurricanes in any meaningful way. Hurricanes form in deep oceans, whereas you need shallow seas for offshore wind turbines. New types of floating wind turbines are just beginning to be deployed, but you would still have the problem of getting the power to the shore, so it's not likely that they would be stationed very far from land.

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8 minutes ago, mistermack said:

I don't think there would be the slightest prospect of wind farms affecting hurricanes in any meaningful way. Hurricanes form in deep oceans, whereas you need shallow seas for offshore wind turbines. New types of floating wind turbines are just beginning to be deployed, but you would still have the problem of getting the power to the shore, so it's not likely that they would be stationed very far from land.

Not to mention wind turbines aren't designed for hurricanes.

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  • 3 weeks later...

https://www.nhc.noaa.gov/gtwo.php?basin=atlc&fdays=2

 

See, this is the kind of thing I was talking about earlier in the thread. Right now, off the coast of Cancun, Mexico, there's a storm brewing that has a 50-50 chance of developing further, on top of all the other storms the North American continent is about to face in the near future.

 

Cancun is about 200km from the west coast of Cuba, while Key West, Florida, is about 150km north from Havana, Cuba. If we had rows of interconnected floating wind turbines along at least those stretches of ocean, to harvest the wind while it was still gale force, would at least somewhat cut down on hurricane development?

Edited by ScienceNostalgia101
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2 minutes ago, ScienceNostalgia101 said:

https://www.nhc.noaa.gov/gtwo.php?basin=atlc&fdays=2

 

See, this is the kind of thing I was talking about earlier in the thread. Right now, off the coast of Cancun, Mexico, there's a storm brewing that has a 50-50 chance of developing further, on top of all the other storms the North American continent is about to face in the near future.

 

Cancun is about 200km from the west coast of Cuba, while Key West, Florida, is about 150km north from Havana, Cuba. If we had rows of interconnected floating wind turbines along at least those stretches of ocean, to harvest the wind while it was still gale force, would at least somewhat cut down on hurricane development?

No

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On 9/11/2018 at 5:59 PM, ScienceNostalgia101 said:

https://www.nhc.noaa.gov/gtwo.php?basin=atlc&fdays=2

 

See, this is the kind of thing I was talking about earlier in the thread. Right now, off the coast of Cancun, Mexico, there's a storm brewing that has a 50-50 chance of developing further, on top of all the other storms the North American continent is about to face in the near future.

 

Cancun is about 200km from the west coast of Cuba, while Key West, Florida, is about 150km north from Havana, Cuba. If we had rows of interconnected floating wind turbines along at least those stretches of ocean, to harvest the wind while it was still gale force, would at least somewhat cut down on hurricane development?

Marginally, but so would much cheaper floating obstacles of similar size (maybe slightly bigger) 

When I say much cheaper...I mean very expensive to have any measurable affect.

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  • 1 month later...

Subject came to mind again because of post-tropical storm Oscar.

 

How expensive would any materials that can withstand hurricane force winds for the purposes of structures like these be? (For what it's worth, I accept that the "rows of wind turbines to prevent hurricane development" option is out of the question.)

Edited by ScienceNostalgia101
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  • 2 years later...

Bumping once again because of all the storms this hurricane season that formed at sea, and stayed at sea. The only way to intercept them would be to either line the entire ocean with turbines strong enough to harness the power of hurricanes (many of which would probably never see enough wind to pay for themselves), or to send a boat out to intercept them wherever they're forecasted to form.

 

So I've come back to discuss the latter idea. What if someone designed a boat with turbines on all ends, designed to be rotated clockwise by the winds it encounters as it approaches the developing storm? Would there be any way to harness the associated energy?

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34 minutes ago, ScienceNostalgia101 said:

Bumping once again because of all the storms this hurricane season that formed at sea, and stayed at sea. The only way to intercept them would be to either line the entire ocean with turbines strong enough to harness the power of hurricanes (many of which would probably never see enough wind to pay for themselves), or to send a boat out to intercept them wherever they're forecasted to form.

 

So I've come back to discuss the latter idea. What if someone designed a boat with turbines on all ends, designed to be rotated clockwise by the winds it encounters as it approaches the developing storm? Would there be any way to harness the associated energy?

 

You have been offered a lot of good thoughts and information about wind power.

Have you investigated any of them ?

 

What does a "boat with a turbine on all ends" look like ?

There have been designs for 'sailing'  cargo ships, as large as oil tankers, using one multiple fans of the type sensei described. and some prototypes have been built and tested. I do not have up to date results on these, but early indications were promising.

However this is the energy to power one ship.

Do you have any idea of the impellor size on a conventional wind generator ?

It's diameter or radius is enormous,

The stresses involved after turning the rotation axis to the vertical would be commensurately enormous at that extended radius.

This fact once limited the size of sailing ships.

 

 

A final comment.

Why do you seek to extract energy from infrequent peaks in the wind's power ?

Surely slow and steady but reliable is the way forward ?

Especially if you wish the installations to last many decades.

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I'd be worried about the craft tipping over in the high winds you'd be seeking out. I would expect that would limit the size of the impeller you could safely deploy. Also the cost/benefit ratio of something that you'd be deploying perhaps a dozen trips a year vs just harnessing the normally-encountered winds on a fixed platform.

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There's a possibility that anything harvesting hurricane force winds would need degrees of fortification that would render it economically impractical.   My WAG is that underwater flaps (or similar) that harnessed the accompanying tidal surges for power would last longer and also do regular duty with regular tides.   

Given that hurricanes form far out to sea,  I doubt that any practical mechanical system could arrest their development.   

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Pardon the crude illustration, this is just what I have in mind to illustrate the idea.

 

The blades, theoretically, would be made of whichever material would be as durable as possible both against corrosion and against fracturing, to pay for itself eventually in energy extracted. Within this proposal, there are two varieties.

 

A: A submarine with the attached blades all immersed underwater until it is directly underneath the eye, such that it comes to surface at the eye and the surrounding counterclockwise winds are forced to exert a counterclockwise torque on the vessel by encountering these concave blades.

 

B: A non-submarine vessel that encounters counterclockwise curl to the winds merely by approaching it. However, I am not sure how to determine whether it will encounter a prohibitively severe contrast between counterclockwise torque on one side of the vessel and clockwise torque on another. I am thinking of this in terms of Stokes' Theorem; the average curl within a region is proportional to a line integral around its exterior; and guessing the torque will be counterclockwise on the way toward the eye as much as within it. However, I have a feeling there's something I'm missing.

 

Obviously, there would need to be helium-filled compartments either way (and/or hydrogen-generating electrolysis compartments readily available to both store generated energy and offset the heave?) if only to ensure this same torque doesn't also invert the vessel and in turn the direction of the blades' concavity.

 

. . .

 

For the more standard wind turbines, the main issue I hear about is maintenance costs. If one were to mass manufacture mirrors for solar!thermal, one could just plop them in the desert and let them melt salt. Wind turbines, on the other hand, would need to be cleaned of bird guts from time to time to function at adequate efficiency, would they not? However efficiently you could mass-manufacture wind turbines to line the ocean with them, that's still one tedious job of going out to sea and having to clean them all in person. A more concentrated form of wind energy, with more kilojoules per contraption, sounds like it'd save on maintenance.

crudeillustration.png

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23 minutes ago, ScienceNostalgia101 said:

A submarine with the attached blades all immersed underwater until it is directly underneath the eye, such that it comes to surface at the eye and the surrounding counterclockwise winds are forced to exert a counterclockwise torque on the vessel by encountering these concave blades.

Have you ever been in the eye of a hurricane? Unless your attached blades are about 40 miles long I don't think they are going to encounter much in the way of wind to turn them.

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38 minutes ago, zapatos said:

Have you ever been in the eye of a hurricane? Unless your attached blades are about 40 miles long I don't think they are going to encounter much in the way of wind to turn them.

In the immortal words of Roy Scheider,  in Jaws, "you're going to need a bigger boat."  

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On 9/30/2021 at 11:42 PM, TheVat said:

In the immortal words of Roy Scheider,  in Jaws, "you're going to need a bigger boat."  

Or a Japanese one.

https://www.msn.com/en-gb/news/world/japanese-scientists-use-approaching-typhoon-mindulle-as-part-of-typhoonshot-bid-to-generate-power/ar-AAP0fOL?ocid=BingNews

Quote

The scientists are exploring ways to reduce the power of typhoons by dropping large amounts of ice or other cooling elements into the eye of the storm, while another branch of their research is focused on harnessing the power generated by a typhoon. 

No idea how plausible any of these ideas are, just something I came across.

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