Turbines Spin Hurricanes Into Control

Posted by on March 28, 2014 in Hurricane Awareness, Storm Science | Comments Off on Turbines Spin Hurricanes Into Control

row of wind turbines on the green mountain wind farm

What if a magical object were invented to stop hurricanes in their tracks? Okay, that may seem a tad far-fetched, but what if there was something that could drastically minimize tropical storm impact? Coastal residents may be in luck; scientists and environmental engineers have come together to perform extensive experiments to analyze the effect wind turbines have on hurricanes. The results? Let’s just say they’re very promising.

Wind turbines

Wind turbines can be spotted on hills or farms; they’re tall, usually white and contain three spinning blades. Their function is quite simple; they use wind to make electricity by spinning their blades, which spins a shaft, which then connects to a generator and makes electricity. Turbines range in size depending on the area it’s serving; smaller wind turbines are used residentially where as larger turbines are less expensive but still equally effective for their size and are usually found grouped on wind farms to provide a bulk amount of power to a vast area of land.

Weakening storms, one turbine at a time

Environmental engineers have created an accurate hurricane simulator that they’ve tested numerous times to determine the effect a group of turbines has on incoming tropical storms. Because turbines produce energy from wind, they have the power to slow wind speeds down enough to manipulate hurricane significance.

According to simulation experiments, a hurricane the immensity of Hurricane Katrina would have required 78,000 wind turbines to weaken the storm before it made impact with the coast. Although tests have proven positive results, many experts believe there is still much improvement to be made considering that a farm of 78,000, “is expensive and borderline feasible”.