Claim: Offshore Wind Turbines for ‘Taming Hurricanes’

From the University of Delaware a press release I just can’t stop laughing about. Of course, they have no real-world tests of this claim, only “their sophisticated climate-weather model”. No numbers were given on turbine “mortality”, so one wonders how many would survive.

Vatten Fall

Normally invisible, wind wind wakes take shape in the turbulence induced clouds behind the Horns Rev offshore wind farm west of Denmark. Image: NOAA

Offshore wind turbines could weaken hurricanes, reduce storm surge

Wind turbines placed in the ocean to generate electricity may have another major benefit: weakening hurricanes before the storms make landfall.

New research by the University of Delaware and Stanford University shows that an army of offshore wind turbines could reduce hurricanes’ wind speeds, wave heights and flood-causing storm surge.

The findings, published online this week in Nature Climate Change, demonstrate for the first time that wind turbines can buffer damage to coastal cities during hurricanes.

“The little turbines can fight back the beast,” said study co-author Cristina Archer, associate professor in the University of Delaware’s College of Earth, Ocean, and Environment. 

Archer and Stanford’s Mark Jacobson previously calculated the global potential for wind power, taking into account that as turbines are generating electricity, they are also siphoning off some energy from the atmosphere. They found that there is more than enough wind to support worldwide energy demands with a negligible effect on the overall climate.

In the new study, the researchers took a closer look at how the turbines’ wind extraction might affect hurricanes. Unlike normal weather patterns that make up global climate over the long term, hurricanes are unusual, isolated events that behave very differently. Thus, the authors hypothesized that a hurricane might be more affected by wind turbines than are normal winds.

“Hurricanes are a different animal,” Archer said.

Using their sophisticated climate-weather model, the researchers simulated hurricanes Katrina, Isaac and Sandy to examine what would happen if large wind farms, with tens of thousands of turbines, had been in the storms’ paths.

They found that, as the hurricane approached, the wind farm would remove energy from the storm’s edge and slow down the fast-moving winds. The lower wind speeds at the hurricane’s perimeter would gradually trickle inwards toward the eye of the storm. “There is a feedback into the hurricane that is really fascinating to examine,” said Archer, an expert in both meteorology and engineering.

The highest reductions in wind speed were by up to 87 mph for Hurricane Sandy and 92 mph for Hurricane Katrina.

According to the computer model, the reduced winds would in turn lower the height of ocean waves, reducing the winds that push water toward the coast as storm surge. The wind farm decreased storm surge — a key cause of hurricane flooding — by up to 34 percent for Hurricane Sandy and 79 percent for Hurricane Katrina.

While the wind farms would not completely dissipate a hurricane, the milder winds would also prevent the turbines from being damaged. Turbines are designed to keep spinning up to a certain wind speed, above which the blades lock and feather into a protective position. The study showed that wind farms would slow wind speeds so that they would not reach that threshold.

The study suggests that offshore wind farms would serve two important purposes: prevent significant damage to cities during hurricanes and produce clean energy year-round in normal conditions as well as hurricane-like conditions. This makes offshore wind farms an alterative protective measure to seawalls, which only serve one purpose and do not generate energy.

Jacobson and study co-author Willett Kempton, professor in UD’s College of Earth, Ocean and Environment, weighed the costs and benefits of offshore wind farms as storm protection.

The net cost of offshore wind farms was found to be less than the net cost of generating electricity with fossil fuels. The calculations take into account savings from avoiding costs related to health issues, climate change and hurricane damage, and assume a mature offshore wind industry. In initial costs, it would be less expensive to build seawalls, but those would not reduce wind damage, would not produce electricity and would not avoid those other costs — thus the net cost of offshore wind would be less.

The study used very large wind farms, with tens of thousands of turbines, much larger than commercial wind farms today. However, sensitivity tests suggested benefits even for smaller numbers of turbines.

“This is a paradigm shift,” Kempton said. “We always think about hurricanes and wind turbines as incompatible. But we find that in large arrays, wind turbines have some ability to protect both themselves and coastal communities, from the strongest winds.”

“This is a totally different way to think about the interaction of the atmosphere and wind turbines,” Archer said. “We could actually take advantage of these interactions to protect coastal communities.”

The paper, titled “Taming Hurricanes with Arrays of Offshore Wind Turbines,” appears online on Feb. 26 in Nature Climate Change and will be published in print in March.

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223 Responses to Claim: Offshore Wind Turbines for ‘Taming Hurricanes’

  1. Paul says:

    I’ve just lost the will to live.

  2. jauntycyclist says:

    the current warmist narrative to not focus on IF there is climate change [that's settled science] but to ask what your RESPONSE to climate change is. Anyone who dares to dispute is of course ‘a denier’ thus a ‘crank funded by oil companies’

    “which takes a first step by asking the media to debate the constructive responses to climate change, not its existence.”

    http://www.theecologist.org/blogs_and_comments/commentators/2295371/the_medias_climate_fail_we_must_move_beyond_mere_anger.html

    i am encouraged if they now think even the bbc is not being revolutionary enough on the co2 deathstar project

  3. Paul Pierett says:

    Did do their he work anymore than the scientists that study hurricanes for they refuse to look at sunspot activity for cause and and affect.

    Then one who studies the major ones fines it takes Cuba land mass to slightly slow one down or slightly move it more into the Gulf before it up swings into the USA. For those that hit the USA from the south can maintain storm strength as far Atlanta. The rain produced can continue north pass Ohio and to the NE Coast

    Further, it is not hurricanes we need to stop but man’s urge to live within inches of the ocean water line. We need the hurricanes for reasons stated.

    During peak sunspot activity hurricanes provide much needed rain to the US soil. We don’t need a bunch of wind farms in the way.

    They need to get a total picture of what they are doing.

  4. M Courtney says:

    Well, a mangrove swamp will defend the coast in the same way.
    And it would be a lot cheaper too.
    And it would actually remove CO2 frorm the atmosphere

    I think I might be on to something here – anyone got a reserarch grant?

  5. jim hogg says:

    Got to be a spoof . . . makes me more convinced than ever that we should be creating a more effective sifting structure to reduce the number of idiots getting blown into our universities . .

  6. William McClenney says:

    “Just a moment….Just a moment.

    I’ve just picked up a fault in the AE-35 Unit.”

  7. Phillip Bratby says:

    It’s a pity they forgot that wind turbines aren’t designed to operate in windy conditions. They tend to fall apart , get blown away or catch fire. As for the net costs being less than from fossil fuels, words fail me. What numpties. Are there no standards of academic ability these days to prevent idiots getting into universities?

  8. cynical ed says:

    If they are right, surely it would mean that there are significant diminishing returns from building more and more wind turbines?

  9. sirboabtree says:

    Sorry just had a vision of 500metre high wind turbines in a belt 50 kilometres deep covering every hectare of ocean around Australia. Yep that will work – not.

  10. UK Sceptic says:

    I live on the NW coast of England. There is a wind farm just a couple of miles offshore in Morecambe Bay. We had hurricane force winds just a couple of weeks ago and my damaged and destroyed ridge tiles and ripped up fence call BS on Archer’s and Jacobson’s study.

  11. cnxtim says:

    Once upon a time, one could more often autonomously assign credence to the halls of higher learning.
    The more the myth of AGW is exposed as fraudulent ‘science’, the nuttier the professors get.

  12. jdseanjd says:

    Sometimes, Anthony, you just got to burst out laughing.
    Not long ago, I ran across the story of a PPE (Politics, philosophy & economics) graduate from Oxford, no less, who thought the solution for our present economic woes was simply for the BOE (Bank of England) to print more money.
    Our universities now are no more than factories of fear & fantasy.
    JD. :)

  13. Ed Zuiderwijk says:

    As the storm surge is mostly caused by the low pressure at the centre of the storm the implication is that the windmills increase atmospheric pressure. That will raise an eyebrow or two.

    But then again, the closer you get to April 1st the more ludicrous the effusions appear to get.

  14. Ed Zuiderwijk says:

    “The little turbines can fight back the beast,” said study co-author Cristina Archer.

    Never heard of King Canute then?

  15. John M says:

    So, by this logic wind farms change the environment by reducing wind and wave heights. I wonder what negative environmental impact this has ?

  16. johanna says:

    “The net cost of offshore wind farms was found to be less than the net cost of generating electricity with fossil fuels. The calculations take into account savings from avoiding costs related to health issues, climate change and hurricane damage, and assume a mature offshore wind industry. In initial costs, it would be less expensive to build seawalls, but those would not reduce wind damage, would not produce electricity and would not avoid those other costs — thus the net cost of offshore wind would be less.

    The study used very large wind farms, with tens of thousands of turbines, much larger than commercial wind farms today. However, sensitivity tests suggested benefits even for smaller numbers of turbines.”

    Is this some kind of joke?

    “assume a mature offshore wind industry” means having first spent many hundreds of billions, perhaps trillions, of dollars constructing the things. In what universe would flood mitigation, coastal protection, drainage schemes etc cost anything like that much? Where would the money come from anyway? And bear in mind, a decent sized coal or gas plant comes in at less than $500m and generates enough reliable power, 24/7/365, for a small city.

    I am utterly gobsmacked.

  17. Patrick says:

    There is plenty of evidence to support the fact that many man-made structures don’t last too long in hurricanes. Not sure how wind turbines will help given the fact that in high wind, they have to be disabled. So, they are a “sitting duck” effectively. Yeah I agree, a LOL article!

  18. SasjaL says:

    Why not invest in real problems? In US there are the San Andrea Fault and Yellowstone that should be addressed. Not much that can be done when nature act, but pre damage control is better than the political collateral damage solution that’s used …

  19. So they’re claiming a modeled drop in “Hurricane” Sandy’s wind speed of 78 to 87 MPH. I found NOAA data online that clocked Tropical Storm Sandy at 49 MPH sustained with gusts up to 73 MPH at JFK. So… 49 minus 87 equals…

    -38 MPH sustained, with gusts to -14 MPH.

    I’m impressed. Now if they’ll just code in a divide-by-0 they can even replicate the alleged Bermuda Triangle space warp, too. With modeling like that, I’m not surprised that they found offshore wind to be cheaper than fossil fuels.

  20. Ivor Ward says:

    “”…said Archer, an expert in both meteorology and engineering……””
    Engineering? Wind turbines stopping hurricanes? Don’t make me laugh.

  21. Mike McMillan says:

    ” … large wind farms, with tens of thousands of turbines”

    Time to buy GE and Vestas stock.

  22. Brian H says:

    Their conclusion that the net costs are better is fudged by padding benefits and minimizing maintenance and other consequences of such huge farms (10,000 windmills?!).

  23. Kate Forney says:

    And all they need is a few billion dollars to conduct a test…

  24. Jenne says:

    Here is a billion dollar question: the study surely suggests that it is possible to affect a hurricane such that it changes its path and thus cause damage in locations where that otherwise would not have occurred. That would provide grounds for suing the wind farm companies. Are they willing to take that risk? This is a general problem with geoengineering:

    http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/01/130102140521.htm

  25. Brian Johnson UK says:

    And the band played……..”Believe it if you like!! What a pile of warmist tosh! :)

    In the UK the National Grid would meltdown and the taxpayer would pay for the damage!

  26. bobl says:

    As an EE I’m embarassed, in anything more than a mild gale wind turbines need to be furled away to survive, making their interference to the storm rather moot; and sandy wasn’t a hurricane it was just a big storm a lot like the ones we get in the north west here in Oz. The system that caused the 2011 floods in Queensland was centred off WA and the rainfall spanned the entire nation, just like the freeze is doing in the USA now. Weather systems are big. sometimes they just spawn storms, sometimes they are the storm. When a system is the storm they can be almost as big as the low pressusre system that powers them.

    I get really embarrassed by the ignorance in engineerings own ranks, there are EE’s that actually think solar power is practical, they should be ashamed.

  27. jdseanjd says:

    I remembered this video of Peter Schiff debating Catherine Ruetschlin:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=60rvDF1kpcQ 30 mins.
    Or: Boost the Minimum Wage To Boost Teen Employment? Peter…
    (as refs sometimes fail.)
    This beautiful young lady, a phd in economics, no less, debates Peter Schiff.
    It was like putting a 14 year old in the ring with a world champ.
    His forbearance & good humour are commendable.

    She is a policy analyst at DEMOS.

    HT: Steven Goddard. :)

  28. johnmarshall says:

    Oh yes? Models again proving nothing.
    Recent storms in the UK have seen several land based wind turbines burst into flames because their safety systems failed to feather the blades. Wonderful sight and probably the most energy that they have ever produced.

  29. goldminor says:

    Hopefully, there will be video footage as the wind turbines slow the first winds and then get ripped apart by what follows. They better put them far away from any town or it will become ‘The Attack of the Wind Turbines’. A made for Hollywood science-horror project. Run away, run away!

  30. tomkcook says:

    I’m staggered by some of the magical thinking going on in the comments here. Wind turbines extract energy from wind and hurricanes, tropical storms etc are concentrations of energy in wind; why is it controversial to say that taking energy out of a hurricane will reduce the intensity of the hurricane? It’s so obvious it’s almost not worth saying. There are only two questions remaining:

    1. Turbines have a cut-out speed. Will the hurricane moving towards the turbines push wind speeds over that level so quickly that the energy removed will be negligible? Much of the paper is answering that question in the negative; in the cases of storms studied, the turbines had time to significantly reduce the hurricane energy before they reached their cut-out speed. It’s not unreasonable; bear in mind that older turbines would shut down when the ten-minute average wind speed reached 25m/s (about 55mph and that’s not a gust speed); that’s already a fairly serious wind – someone has noted above that Sandy’s sustained winds never reached that speed. More modern turbines do not have a hard cutout but gradually curtail above 25m/s to a complete shutdown at around 35m/s (about 78mph). So turbines are likely to operate through most of a storm.

    2. Is it an economical way of mitigating storms? As with most economic / econometric analyses, the answer depends almost entirely on the assumptions underlying the study. This study says yes, but I’d hesitate to believe it. Tens of thousands of turbines is not unrealistic in the medium term; as of August 2013 there are 1909 offshore turbines built with another 873 under construction. Tens of thousands of turbines in the right place to stop a particular storm is rather more problematic to my mind. If you’d had 10,000 turbines in the way of hurricane Katrina then yes, it would probably have been an economical way of mitigating the hurricane (consider that the damage inflicted by the hurricane, $108 billion, would have paid for the construction of ~20,000 offshore turbines, even ignoring any income you make from selling the electricity) but, of course, if you build them there now then the next storm isn’t going to land there, is it? And building 10,000 in front of every coastal city is unlikely to be economical, not least because there simply isn’t the demand for the power (each farm of 10,000 5MW turbines will power 10 million homes on average; do that for every coastal city and you’ve got a serious excess of energy and therefore a market failure).

  31. GeeJam says:

    The barrage of excuses to justify worse than useless turbines are wearing very thin now. Can’t they at least be a bit more creative like “wind turbine ‘array’ helps cure local pet terrapin’s abscess”.

  32. Jer0me says:

    “Hurricanes are a different animal,” Archer said.

    As far as I can see, they are not at all different, just more intense. Here in the tropics, many weather systems are pretty much low-energy cyclones. All you have to do is look at the rain radar, and you can see the circular motion of the clouds and rain.

    Now, I’m not a meteorologist or even close, but I am willing to wager that most of our weather has similar structure to a cyclone in some way.

  33. ralfellis says:

    .
    Eh?? I don’t get this.

    A hurricane is only destructive because it has a tight core. The depressions that pass over the UK probably have much more energy than a hurricane, but are not so strong because the Coriolis ‘Force’ widens out the core. (Because of the UK’s higher latitude, the balancing Coriolis ‘Force’ is stronger.)

    So if we slow down the outer edge of the hurricane, and so allow that air to spill into the core, are we not invigorating and tightening the core?

    Surely this is the ice-dancer effect. If the spinning ice-dancer moves their arms inwards, they spin faster. Similarly, if wind-elecs (wind turbines) allow air to spill into the core of the hurricane, would it not spin faster? (Ok, the wind-elecs are removing some of the angular momentum, but all that air spilling into the hurricane’s core cannot make things better, surely.)

    And what kind of difference are we talking about here? 0.000000001 % of the total energy?

    SR

  34. Eugene WR Gallun says:

    This just can’t be for real. It just can’t.

    Eugene WR Gallun

  35. Jimmy Dell says:

    Barriers like tree lines and buildings are like speed bumps to the wind. If you sail you know that a wind blowing from on shore is disrupted down wind for 8 times the height of the tree or building that blocking. So you’re in a calm shadow for that distance. Given this elementary fact; how many lines of wind mills would you like to build? Where would you like to build them? Where is the wind going to blow next? This new found benefit of wind farms sounds like a desperate attempt to rescue a flawed concept. “Yes the electricity that is created is very expensive and intermittent but it slows the wind down. So there’s that we’ve going for us.”
    Unless you’re in Iowa, or a few western states that interstate 80 goes through, where the wind is nearly constant and strong, you’re swimming up stream on this windmill fantasy.

  36. tty says:

    Since wind turbines are routinely feathered in high winds, I would presume this study was based on the effect that feathered turbines would have on hurricanes. Or wasn’t it?
    There is an earlier version of this paper where they assume that the turbines will work at wind speeds up 50 ms-1 (112 mph) which is optimistic to put things mildly.
    http://www.energy.udel.edu/wind2013/Jacobson_1302UDelHurrTurb.pdf
    Normally wind turbines are feathered at 25 ms-1 (56 mph). Wind energy at 112 mph is four times larger than at 56 mph,
    It might be feasible to build wind turbines that could operate in hurricane winds, but it would be insanely expensive and they would be [too] heavy to work at all in normal winds.

  37. urederra says:

    They would reduce the speed of the winds by 0.001%, which, by a staggering coincidence, is also the percentage of global temperature rise caused by anthropogenic CO2

    Just kidding, although I have the impression my answer is closer to reality than theirs.

  38. ralfellis says:

    UK Sceptic says: February 27, 2014 at 1:41 am
    I live on the NW coast of England. There is a wind farm just a couple of miles offshore in Morecambe Bay. We had hurricane force winds just a couple of weeks ago and my damaged and destroyed ridge tiles and ripped up fence call BS on Archer’s and Jacobson’s study.
    ______________________________

    Those wind farms would have shut down as soon as the wind got above 35 knots. They would make no difference to a more widespread UK Atlantic depression with a large (very wide) core.

    Come to think of it, they will make no difference to a hurricane either ……. ;-)

    SR

  39. GeeJam says:

    Very slightly off-topic, but has anyone seen this on the BBC website . . . .

    “Smell of forest pine can limit climate change”

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-26340038

  40. hunter says:

    If windmills can disrupt a hurricane, there is no way they would not disrupt other wind flows. Wind is a fundamental part of how the weather works. This should be seen as a grim warning that yet another climate obsessed idea is really bad, and not as a great opportunity.

  41. Admad says:

    What would be the erection cost of “tens of thousands” of offshore wind turbines? Can the global GDP cover it in any reasonable timescale?

  42. Speed says:

    Scientists estimate that a tropical cyclone releases heat energy at the rate of 50 to 200 exajoules (1018 J) per day, equivalent to about 1 PW (1015 watt). This rate of energy release is equivalent to 70 times the world energy consumption of humans and 200 times the worldwide electrical generating capacity, or to exploding a 10-megaton nuclear bomb every 20 minutes.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tropical_cyclone

    … large turbine arrays (300+ GW installed capacity) may diminish peak near-surface hurricane wind speeds by 25–41 m s−1 (56–92 mph) and storm surge by 6–79%.
    http://www.nature.com/nclimate/journal/v4/n3/full/nclimate2120.html

    The largest wind turbines (660 kW – 2+MW) are used in central station wind farms, distributed power and community wind.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wind_turbine_design#Turbine_size

    Do the math.

    I suspect that the authors are invoking some sort of aerodynamic friction disturbing the dynamics of the hurricane. Unfortunately it would cost me $32 to find out and apparently the authors don’t think that their work is important enough (remember “the greater good?”) to make it free.

    Related … While researching the above I found “Innovation in Wind Turbine Design” by Peter Jamieson, that can be read online for free. An engineering overview.
    http://books.google.dk/books?id=qCAwt6Tgga4C&printsec=frontcover&hl=da#v=onepage&q&f=false

  43. The Ghost Of Big Jim Cooley says:

    Surely this is a spoof? For starters, turbines are turned OFF when it’s really windy, so this has got to be a leg-pull. Has anyone actually phoned the Delaware Uni to find out?

  44. Richard111 says:

    Here in the UK wind farms are paid obscene amounts of money to shut down when it is windy because the national grid cannot handle the power surges.

  45. Jason H says:

    Wow! Windmills must be a gift from the gods. Small land masses like the Outer Banks, or large ones like the entire country of Cuba (with it’s nearly 2000m peaks) can’t even slow down a hurricane like that.

    On second thought, it’s these scientists who think they are God’s gift for thinking they can start controlling hurricanes.

  46. philjourdan says:

    Would this be before or after the hurricanes tore the stupid things from their moorings?

    But I can see one aspect in which they are correct. Like the trees on land, the “trees” of the wind mills would slow the wind. And like the “trees” on the land, many would find themselves toppled.

    As I noted earlier to a comment about engineers and economics. Scientists tell us what can be done. Economics tells us the cost. Engineers merge the 2 to tell us what is feasible. I will pass on this “scientific” study.

  47. Keith Willshaw says:

    Wind farms have an upper speed limit called ‘survival speed’ for a good reason. Above that they collapse. Survival speed varies from 130-160 mph. This means that Category 5 Hurricanes will destroy most turbines in short order. All that would be left are a few stumps and a LARGE debt.

    Keith

  48. Bobby Davis says:

    Ah, the arrogant hubris of mankind. So when did we as a species gain the ability to control of the weather.? Ah, never! I know that in this day of instant communication & very fast computers we think we as a species have gain in overall intelligence, but this is nothing more than Sci-Fi, like in the movie Alien, where they can tera-form a planet in the future. But what really makes this so outrageous is that this is coming from our universities. This reminds me of when AWG zealots say that we better do something before we lose control of the climate. Please tell me when we ever had control of it. These people probably think we can tera-form Mars also. Even though it has no significant protective magnetosphere. They always forget that minor point & I’m sure there is something like that missing from this study also, so they got the results they wanted.

  49. dlb says:

    Yes, plausible,
    and 747s cause jet streams, hence the name.

  50. ozspeaksup says:

    as I started to read this page..
    a friend sent me this..
    :-)
    http://venturebeat.com/2010/02/08/minnesotas-frozen-turbines-raise-new-doubts-about-wind-power/
    between the two, Ive had a damned good laugh this evening.

  51. The study showed that wind farms would slow wind speeds so that they would not reach that threshold.

    Oh really? I guess all they need now is several billion dollars to build a giant wind far to test this out.

  52. Bailey says:

    I am still waiting for someone to enlighten me on what ‘the earth’s energy budget’, as identified by the IPCC, actually means. Surely hurricanes, and major storms generally, are included.

  53. chris y says:

    Mark Jacobson is one of the co-authors of this paper.
    Jacobson is also the author of papers promoting 100% renewable energy (not just electricity, but total energy use) by 2050 for every state in the U.S.
    Jacobson claims that the cost of this energy transformation can be paid for by the avoided health and morbidity costs associated with burning fossil fuels.
    He now adds the claimed benefit that offshore wind farms can also be paid for using avoided storm damage costs.

    It would be very interesting to compare the efficacy of offshore wind farms versus a deliberate massive oil spill versus NYC littoral oyster beds vs CO2 emissions abatement on tempering the winds and storm surges of the largest tempests.

    I think it is probably a dead heat.

  54. Mike M says:

    Coming soon to a children’s bookstore near you, “The Little Wind Turbine That Could”

  55. When a wind farm is hit by a 155-mph hurricane, how many windmills will be destroyed? How many of them will be turned into high-velocity projectiles?

  56. Coach Springer says:

    UK Sceptic says:
    February 27, 2014 at 1:41 am
    I live on the NW coast of England. There is a wind farm just a couple of miles offshore in Morecambe Bay. We had hurricane force winds just a couple of weeks ago and my damaged and destroyed ridge tiles and ripped up fence call BS on Archer’s and Jacobson’s study.
    ==================================================================
    “Sophisticated” model v. actual data – again! How do they get away with calling modeling “research” anyway? It’s misleading. And it isn’t exactly a “finding” if it results in “could [AND could NOT].”

  57. DocWat says:

    As a long time (60+years) resident of Louisiana (USA, Gulf coast) I will take issue with the statement: “hurricanes are unusual, isolated events”. I have friends in Texas, Mississippi, and Alabama, that would take issue as well. They are normal facts of life here. Normal, usual and expected facts of life.

    Further, I would expect to find tens of thousands of wind turbines at the bottom of the Gulf of Mexico after a hurricane.

  58. JohnM says:

    So what would be the effect of a few million people standing on the coastline with open umbrellas?

  59. wws says:

    I have a much better idea – we should simply put inflatable barriers around all major cities, to be used in case a hurricane comes. They would have to be 10,000 feet tall and a mile thick, but they would shelter an entire city. And then when you’re done you just let the air out and store them in the garage.

    What? What? That’s just as realistic of a plan as the wind farm idea is!!!!

  60. Gamecock says:

    “The findings . . . demonstrate for the first time that wind turbines can buffer damage to coastal cities during hurricanes.”

    Demonstrate? As if models are concrete.

    “The study used very large wind farms, with tens of thousands of turbines, much larger than commercial wind farms today. However, sensitivity tests suggested benefits even for smaller numbers of turbines.”

    What is a sensitivity test? Inputting a smaller number of turbines in your model. When you run a model, you put in values for the parameters used. Publishing that “tens of thousands of turbines, much larger than commercial wind farms today,” means that you couldn’t get publishable results for a smaller number of turbines. If five thousand turbines had a significant effect, you’d publish five thousand, not the outlandish tens of thousands. “Sensitivity tests suggested,” yeah, just like a model “demonstrated.”

  61. onlyme says:

    From the study, array size is minimum 300 GW. The turbines specified are 7.58 MW. Simple division shows a minimum of 39578 turbines are needed in the path of a hurricane. The list price of one unit is $14 million plus install costs. (found on wiki)

    Assuming installation costs are 0, a single hurricane busting array would cost 554 billion dollars.

    Anyone have a spare half trillion dollars lying round?

  62. Latitude says:

    …they mean like oil rigs and sail boats

  63. DocWat says:

    Speculating… Having seen wind turbines up close, near my temporary home in Kansas, I wonder if the blades float. Can you imagine 30,000 150ft long fiberglass blades being pushed along before a 150 knot wind??

  64. Col Mosby says:

    Windmills cannot be placed very close to one another, since those in the slipstream of a turbine upwind suffer significant losses. Wind farms need LOTS of space, and I mean lots of space. And offshore turbines can only be sited in a relatively restricted area, not too deep and where there’s plenty of wind. And what’s the likelihood that a bevy of turbines will happen to be located in the right place for a hurricane? We haven’t had a hurricane in years. Delaware probbly gets one per decade. So what benefits are these yokels calculating? Calculations cannot be performed without determining all these things. And why aren’t there calculations assuming that nuclear power dominates the grid? In that case, all those “saved” expenses being claimed for turbines disappear. Once again the claim that there’s enough wind power to power everything, but that’s meaningless in determining whether using this unreliable source of energy makes any sense. And nuclear fuel will be available as long as wind is, so there . A grid can handle, more or less, a small proportion of wind power, but as the percentage increases, the problems quickly multiply. I doubt that they have a meaningful estimate of long term offshore turbine maintenance costs. Or for the side effect costs that using an unreliable source of energy extracts from the grid user. Those are significant, especially when the proportion of wind power grows large.
    Then there’s the issue of unwanted side effects from blocking winds. Do you really want to eternally block winds at a given locale? I wouldn’t think so.
    Finally, most hurricanes occur in the Southeastern U.S. , a locale famous for not having enough wind resources to make turbines commercially feasible,even with govt subsidies.

  65. Berényi Péter says:

    Using their sophisticated climate-weather model, the researchers simulated hurricanes Katrina, Isaac and Sandy to examine what would happen if large wind farms, with tens of thousands of turbines, had been in the storms’ paths.

    Cost of an offshore wind farm, including installation “with tens of thousands of turbines” may be as high as a trillion dollars. At that price one could construct a seawall several times around the globe. Sounds like an excellent business on OPM (Other People’s Money).

    Fragments of hundred meters long turbine blades flying with the storm, raining down on coastal structures at high speed is an attractive feature as well. Just in case the windfarm was not big enough to tame the hurricane completely…

  66. bladeshearer says:

    The paper says “”The highest reductions in wind speed were by up to 87 mph for Hurricane Sandy…” And NOAA says Sandy was measured at 75mph at landfall. So-o-o-o…75 mph minus 87 mph equals…a 12 mph vacuum?! Doesn’t that mean offshore wind farms might have sucked New Jersey into the Atlantic?!!!

  67. Stacey says:

    So they used a sophisticated computer model? I suppose it would be stupid to suggest they used a wind tunnel?
    Of course its intuitively obvious that the height of a wind turbine compared to the height of the wind pressure is diminimus and their computer model is nonsense.

  68. onlyme says:

    Col Mosby: The report at http://www.energy.udel.edu/wind2013/Jacobson_1302UDelHurrTurb.pdf states:

    “7.58-MW Enercon E-126 spaced one every 0.45 km 2 within 100 km of the coast in specified areas.”

    This would cover 17810 sq km, a large area indeed, stretching 100 Km out to sea, 178 km along the coast.

    This is for the SMALLEST output mega-windfarm.

    Imagine trying to pilot a huge container ship or tanker through this mess.

    As of 2011, the world’s two largest working supertankers are the TI class supertankers TI Europe and TI Oceania.[33][34] These ships were built in 2002 and 2003 as the Hellespont Alhambra and Hellespont Tara for the Greek Hellespont Steamship Corporation.[35] Hellespont sold these ships to Overseas Shipholding Group and Euronav in 2004.[36] Each of the sister ships has a capacity of over 441,500 DWT, a length overall of 380.0 metres (1,246.7 ft) and a cargo capacity of 3,166,353 barrels (503,409,900 l).[37] They were the first ULCCs to be double-hulled.[35] To differentiate them from smaller ULCCs, these ships are sometimes given the V-Plus size designation. (via Wiki)

  69. Mike M says:

    I see some huge problems even assuming that a turbine can be built to operate in hurricane force wind – where will all that energy go? It was bad enough having to build underwater transmission lines with a capacity ~10X the average wind supplied amperage to accommodate a few windy days. If we’re talking 150mph so that’s roughly yet 3 times (?) higher so then almost 100X average capacity per turbine to get the energy ashore, (not accounting for how it gets distributed onto the grid from there…). The only option would be heating elements immersed in the ocean to dissipate the energy at each turbine to boil surrounding fish, (maybe including some protected species like bald eagles?).

    It would be much cheaper to, once you are fairly certain of the hurricane track, unleash tens of thousands of enormous spinnakers dragging sea anchors to convert wind energy back into ocean heat.

  70. BruceC says:

    Ummm….correct me if I’m wrong, but wind turbines have built in safety features that shut (stop, brake) the turbine completely at wind speeds above 20 metres per second or 45mph (72km/h).

    A Cat 1 hurricane has wind speeds of 74-95 mph (119-153 km/h).

    The mind boggles.

  71. Mumble McGuirk says:

    I call dibs on the script for a SyFy movie where a mega-wind farm offshore is hit by a hurricane and they don’t shut the windmills down. As the mills go to pieces, the rotors come flying inland and decapitate people. Working title “Wind Farm-icane”.

  72. CodeTech says:

    This is a clear example of people who are truly incapable of comprehending “scale”. Sure, wind turbines can do what they’re saying, but the ones that are actually fielded won’t. A lack of “scale” is also why many people seem to think they can power their homes or a city with solar. Yes, solar is “free” energy coming from the sun, but the scale of collectors required to power the average home means you’d have to have that home on a large piece of property, completely covered with collectors. And there’s that nasty thing called winter, where you need more energy but the sun is too low on the horizon to provide much.

    All they have to do is shift the decimal point two or three places to the left… maybe Sandy could have been reduced by 0.087 MPH, but no way on this planet the number would be 87 MPH.

    Also, the economy of “scale” is great for nuclear plants and even natural gas, oil or coal fired generating stations, but it breaks down with wind since the turbines interfere with each other. This is one case where simply adding more capacity is completely useless.

    Of course, the next stage is claiming that the windmills currently installed are the reason for the dramatic drop in hurricane activity over the last several years. Thus, the “greens” have SAVED THE PLANET.

  73. Gamecock says:

    “Using their sophisticated climate-weather model”

    Grade inflation. It seems all of their models are sophisticated. Ipso facto, none are.

  74. Old Hoya says:

    Did the study also take into account how much hurricane energy would be used up in transporting giant pieces of wind turbines to be thrust onto coastal buildings?

  75. rgbatduke says:

    So, when a hurricane approaches a coast and starts to interact with, say, trees and buildings and mountains and all of those other sources of drag, that exert precisely the same kind of resistive, dissipative force on the winds (it takes a lot of energy to blow over a tree, and a tree with leaves arguably has a much much larger drag footprint than any turbine, and the US East coast is covered with the little suckers, and nice, tall buildings, and in many places coastal hills and other sources of drag), the same thing should happen, right? So when Sandy approached the US coast, all of the buildings and trees should have exerted enough drag to slow it down in precisely the same way? Let’s see, the power being released by a good sized hurricane is order of 100 terawatts. The total power consumed by the entire human species averages order of 100 terawatts. A really, really, big collection of wind farms might generate what — a few gigawatts on a good day? — say 0.01% of the power of the hurricane?

    One doesn’t need computer models for this — the interaction of hurricanes with land is pretty well known from direct observation and is built in to hurricane models of the practical sort already. When hurricanes interact with land, they do indeed slow and weaken because a) the hurricane winds stop moving over warm ocean water, which is the hurricane’s energy source relative to the cold cloud tops; b) Sure, something like a mountain blocks and slows the wind. But ask the nice folks in the Carribean whether entire islands of mountains covering tens of thousands of square kilometers slow down hurricanes enough to keep them from being nasty category 3, 4 or 5 when the eye comes calling. Ask them whether entire cities of buildings, an island covered with nice, dissipative trees works. Ask the nice folks on the NC coast if this works. Ask me — Hurricane Fran still had plenty of oomph as the eye roared by over my house, 200 miles inland, with no meaningful power source (so sure, it had slowed from category 3 to category 1 by the time it reached my house).

    Sometimes one has to wonder if people appreciate the value of common sense and back of the envelope estimates.

    Next up! Hurricane damage can be controlled by spreading plastic wrap over the ocean to starve the evaporative cycle! News at 11!

    Or, of course, by sacrificing a white chicken with a black-handled knife.

    rgb

  76. Julian Hancock says:

    We will just get killed, hit by the flying debris from the wind turbines!

  77. edcaryl says:

    As others above have pointed out, the huge cost of an array to slow one hurricane is far more than the damage caused by said hurricane. Then there is the problem that the entire coastline needs to be lined with wind turbines, multiplying that cost by hundreds. Then there is the problem that not all the offshore is suitable for wind farms. Then there is the little problem of what to do with all the power generated during a storm. In order for a wind turbine to absorbe power from a storm it must have sink for that power. The image that comes to mind is a section of coast going up in flames as the storm approaches and the grid is overloaded.

    I agree with the first comment on the thread. I’ve lost the will to live!

  78. JohnWho says:

    Phillip Bratby says:

    February 27, 2014 at 1:19 am

    It’s a pity they forgot that wind turbines aren’t designed to operate in windy conditions. They tend to fall apart , get blown away or catch fire.

    Or spin really really fast, enabling the outer edges of the thousands of wind turbines to exceed the speed of sound causing a shock wave that could effectively flatten a hurricane.

    Whoa! That’ll work!

    /sarc

  79. Scott says:

    Anyone who has walked a beach in uncomfortably heavy winds and sought refuge in a treeline probably knows if you go just a few feet inside of a treeline the wind speed drops dramatically, sometimes to near zero. It’s sort of magical, the first time you do it you can’t help but think how can a few skimpy trees make such a difference. I think the treeline blocks surface flow and he wind redirects over them. So to me it is plausible that a large field of windmills can disrupt the airflow enough to lower surface winds … and surface winds where the fuel for a hurricane starts. I just don’t see how the field of windmills could be large enough or deep enough (energy from hurricanes comes from deeper waters), in a tight enough configuration to not impact each other during normal operation, or in the right place (hurricane path) to matter.

  80. Glen says:

    This is what happens when scientists have no practical experience in what they talk about.

  81. Robin Larder says:

    This was based on having an array of 78,000 wind turbines. 78,000 wind turbines?
    The UK has been the world leader in the amount of offshore wind since October 2008, with as much capacity already installed as the rest of the world combined, and we have 1,075 wind turbines (according to RenewableUK).

  82. DirkH says:

    onlyme says:
    February 27, 2014 at 5:06 am
    “From the study, array size is minimum 300 GW. The turbines specified are 7.58 MW. Simple division shows a minimum of 39578 turbines are needed in the path of a hurricane. The list price of one unit is $14 million plus install costs. (found on wiki)

    Assuming installation costs are 0, a single hurricane busting array would cost 554 billion dollars.”

    Good calculation. The wind turbines would extract energy from the developing hurricane until wind speeds reach the shutoff speed of the turbines; so maybe delay the development of the hurricane somewhat. Right before shutdown there would be a power surge of up to 300 GW; that alone is an interesting problem, how do you distribute and consume that. But solvable.

    I don’t think the hurricane would bust the entire array, rather damage about up to 10% of the turbines (from what I saw after autumn storms in North Germany). Meaning they would sit idle until fair weather and availability of crane ships coincide; which would allow the very expensive repair of an offshore turbine. So, about 400 turbines would need repair; that’s a LOT of very expensive, specialized, dangerous work…

  83. JJ says:

    hunter says:

    If windmills can disrupt a hurricane, there is no way they would not disrupt other wind flows. Wind is a fundamental part of how the weather works. This should be seen as a grim warning that yet another climate obsessed idea is really bad, and not as a great opportunity.

    Exactly.

    Articles like this operate to achieve a political and corporate profit end by making a false comparison. They hold up a mature technology such as coal powered generation, and attack it for its negative externalities – see the reference above to health costs and climate change effects, etc. And the accounting of those externalities is largely made-up and grossly exaggerated.

    Meanwhile, they compare it to their preferred alternative, citing only the intended and/or beneficial effects. Most of which are also made-up and grossly exaggerated. They have the gall to claim that their windfarms have the power to unintentionally stop a hurricane, without giving any consideration whatsoever as to what other (negative) effects an entity like that will unintentionally display.

    We know from the pilot projects that wind farms are epileptic fit inducing eyesores that cover tens of thousands of acres of open space with a Cuisinart for birds in exchange for small amounts of expensive, unreliable electricity. Now they are telling us that those whirlygigs can alter continental weather patterns? How many trillions is it going to cost us to run the experiment that demonstrates the downside of that?

  84. Chris Wright says:

    What utter garbage….
    I think the first post pretty well summed it up.
    Chris

  85. Tom J says:

    How many wind turbines can dance on the head of a pin?

  86. JohnWho says:

    DirkH says:

    February 27, 2014 at 6:32 am

    Good calculation. The wind turbines would extract energy from the developing hurricane until wind speeds reach the shutoff speed of the turbines; so maybe delay the development of the hurricane somewhat.

    So, this may work if we can get the hurricanes to only develop in the area where the wind turbines are.

    Unless we make all of the 40,000 of them highly mobile so we can keep moving them to the developing hurricane arena. Or, put 400,000 of them in 40k groups in the 10 most likely areas where a hurricane would develop.

    I’m seeing some problems here.

  87. JimS says:

    @Paul – “I’ve just lost the will to live.”

    After reading the article, those are my exact sentiments.

  88. David Ross says:

    I think it more likely that the wind farm would do more damage in a big hurricane as its shattered components come crashing ashore as flotsam.

  89. Chris B says:

    Stacking wind turbines horizontally around low lying areas could prevent flooding too.

  90. Jimbo says:

    Sigh.

    As plans for wind farms rising out of the ocean along the Atlantic and Gulf coasts inch closer to fruition, a new study from Carnegie Mellon University suggests that hurricanes could destroy a significant number of turbines in some of these areas, even coming close to wiping them out.

    Although turbines are designed to both harness and withstand the forces of wind, they can be severely damaged by too much of it. In the United States, Europe and Asia, turbines have caught fire, blades have shredded and towers have crumpled when hit by stormy gales.
    http://green.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/02/13/will-hurricanes-topple-u-s-wind-turbines/

    Abstract – 2011
    Quantifying the hurricane risk to offshore wind turbines
    …..Hurricanes are a potential risk to these turbines. Turbine tower buckling has been observed in typhoons
    http://www.pnas.org/content/early/2012/02/06/1111769109.abstract

  91. lowercasefred says:

    I think every warmist on earth should make this project their number one priority. They should build thousands of these things in the GoM.

    The broken carcasses will make great fish habitat.

  92. John says:

    Only in the context of a hurricane could a 400 foot tall bird cuisinart be called “little,” but that is part of the PR. Reference is to the quote from the article: “The little turbines can fight back the beast.” Giant wind turbine with the new identity as David vs. Goliath!

    Well, if they find themselves in a hurricane, let’s see who wins!

  93. Walt The Physicist says:

    @ hunter says:
    February 27, 2014 at 3:31 am
    And
    @ Speed says:
    February 27, 2014 at 3:46 am

    It is obvious that energy of major weather event significantly exceeds energy that can be extracted by wind turbine farm of any reasonable size utilizing turbines of any reasonable technical parameters. This published work is just nonsense that exploits present political climate in order to publish (this is necessary for tenure and promotion) and to secure funding (this goes to support student research and summer salaries for faculty). Regarding the funding – see below the source of funding of this research in Acknowledgements section copied from the article. So, it should be of high interest to general public that the peer-review experts from NSF and NASA find it feasible for a wind turbine noticeably affecting a hurricane. It is similarly interesting that the reviewers for Nature Climate Change think similarly. It is obvious that the physical sciences are in deep crisis and the mechanism for the research funding is flawed and, may be, corrupt. The catastrophe that became obvious in the climate sciences is just a small part of overall disaster.

    “Acknowledgements
    We thank T. Marchok from NOAA/GFDL for helping compare results with operational
    model results. Funding sources include NSF, NASA and NASA high-end computing.”

    For your further analysis find the Methods section copied from this article

    “Methods
    Two regions are examied, the US Gulf and East coasts. Both have year-round
    offshore wind resources suitable for electricity generation15_19 and both
    experience hurricanes10,19. Global-through-high-resolution-local simulations,
    described in the Supplementary Information, were run for hurricanes Katrina,
    Sandy and Isaac, without and with turbines. Two turbines (the geared RE Power
    5 MW, with rotor diameter (D) of 126 m and designed cutout wind speed (c-o) of
    30m/s and the gearless Enercon E-126 7.58 MW, D=127 m, c-o=34m/s
    were tested with several variants (Table 1). In all cases, turbines were placed
    within 100 km of the coast, where the water depth is mostly <30 m but up to
    50 m in some areas and 200 m in others (Supplementary Fig. 5).
    The speeds at which the turbines are designed to shut down to minimize
    damage (the cutout wind speed) are 30-34m/s. They are designed to survive a
    10-minute sustained wind (maximum certified wind speed) of 50m/s (ref. 20)
    when shut down. Here, two cases are tested: allowing turbines to generate power
    up to 50m/s to further reduce wind speed at the risk of turbine damage; and
    running the turbines only up to 30-34m/s. If only the first case worked, today's
    turbines would need substantial strengthening to reduce storm damage. Results
    indicate that the second case significantly reduced damage; thus, current turbine
    designs may suffice to dampen hurricanes when large arrays of turbines are used."

  94. JimS says:

    I assume this study was sponsored by tax dollars. Nuff said.

  95. David Chappell says:

    Of course to be really useful and keep the costs down, the mega-wind farms would have to be mobile. Because hurricanes don’t follow the same track every time, so the array would have to be moved to meet the storm. The ship-building industry will never have had it so good.

  96. ferdberple says:

    ozspeaksup says:
    February 27, 2014 at 4:34 am
    between the two, Ive had a damned good laugh this evening.
    =========
    Steam turbines as used in power plant take many hours to warm up to speed. You can’t simply turn them on because you need to allow the metal to expand gradually.

    Your car, what happens if you run it hard when it is still cold? Damage to the engine. You need to let it warm up gradually.

    The reason is tolerances. Every moving part is built to run within tolerances between the moving parts, to minimize wear and failures. So they need to allow for the change in tolerances during warm-up and cool-down.

    So now we have windmills. Large metal generators. With no warm up strategy. They are supposed to ramp up and down, producing about 1000 horsepower, without any warm-up of cool down allowance. What other machines built of metal are able to do this for long without failure?

  97. hunter says:

    There should be a move to demand this baloney study be withdrawn.
    1) Windmills cannot operate in a hurricane. The blades either feather so as to offer as little resistance as possible and *do not* spin, or they are seriously damaged, if not destroyed.
    In the methods section of this paper, the authors allude to needing a safer way to operate them thatt still reduces wind- this means that large arrays will impact the environment far more than previously recognize. Where is the discussion of the additinoal impacts?
    2) As RGB@Duke has pointed out, the typical hurricane is operating on an energy budget in the range of terrawatts, and even functioning windmills can only capture a tiny percentage of this energy.
    3) If wind power in large arrays *could* interfere in a measurable way with a hurricane, then how much more will windmills interrupt less powerful wind flows?
    And the size of the wind mill arrays required would cost more than the damage of the storms.
    This study is utter crap. Why was it funded or published?

  98. they are also stopping the earth rotation. it bothers leftist because they believe it might.

    I’m calling bullsh!t on the hurricane bit.

  99. PaulH says:

    “According to the computer model…”
    That’s all I need to know.
    Fail.
    (snark)

  100. the total energy that hurricanes produce and subtract the potential energy that the wind turbines produce then the insignificantly small number will be the maximum reduction of the hurricanes energy. …this study is not worth the electrons to store in a word document.

  101. tadchem says:

    NOAA estimates the total kinetic energy (wind energy) generated for a ‘mature’ hurricane with 40 m/s (90 mph) winds on a scale of 60 km radius at about 1.5 x 10^12 Watts. http://www.aoml.noaa.gov/hrd/tcfaq/D7.html
    As of April 2013, the 1,000 MW (10^9 Watts) London Array in the UK is the largest offshore wind farm in the world. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wind_farm
    We would only need to park the equivalent of 1500 of these wind farms in the path of the hurricane to capture its wind energy.
    Then would we / could we / should we move them for the next hurricane???
    :(

  102. Rhys Jaggar says:

    I think the primary education required for all politicians and media types is that a publication is not true just because someone published it. It may be narrowly true but inapplicable in the real world. It may be completely true but inapplicable in the real world. It may be narrowly true and useful in the real world or it may be completely true and useful in the real world.

    Right now, unelected Prime Ministers (a contradiction in terms) in Ukraine can order about President Putin and the Russian speaking Crimean population about and the western media call him a Prime Minister (when what he is is an unelected mountebank). The armed Russian speakers who stormed the Crimean Parliament (just as violent mobs stormed the Ukrainian parliament in Kyiv) are, however, referred to as ‘gunmen’, not ‘protestors’. The only difference is that they want ties with Russia, not the EU. Good journalism would reflect that. The British media has wheeled out Goebbels again to go into propaganda mode, just as they did for Syria, Libya, Iraq and Afghanistan.

    Lewis Carroll would find much primary material for re-writing his classic children’s’ books right now……..

    Perhaps it would be most healthy if people removed the exalted assumption of dispassionate service which scientists are supposed to give to society?? Then they would just focus on the paper and not get outraged that it wasn’t tickety boo.

    We don’t assume politicians to be decent, we don’t assume bankers to be decent, we don’t assume the media to be decent.

    Why should we assume that scientists are??

  103. Mickey Reno says:

    Oh my GOD! Maybe building huge walls of wind turbines around the University of Delaware and Stanford prevent crap like this from leaking out.

  104. MattS says:

    Even if you had a wind farm that was in theory large enough to sap a significant amount of energy from a hurricane, they would be ripped to pieces long before they could make any difference. Then on top of all the wind and storm surge, you would have all those wind turbine blades coming on shore at 90+ mph. I wonder how many houses it would take to stop one of those blades at that kind of velocity?

  105. Bill_W says:

    And there will be absolutely no environmental impacts of having thousands or millions of windmills out in the ocean. No rusting parts falling into the water? Salt water is not corrosive, is it? They will have to make all parts out of expensive corrosion resistant metals. What about leaks of lubricating oils, etc. from the windmills? What about all the dead sea birds? Will the noise from vibrations be harmful to whales? All the things these fools normally worry about now seem not to matter.

  106. Nigel in Waterloo says:

    Will they suddenly move thousands of turbines into the path of a hurricane after they figure out where it’s headed?? I’d like to meet the sponsors of those turbines cuz I have some research proposals for them.

  107. catweazle666 says:

    Using their sophisticated climate-weather model, the researchers simulated hurricanes Katrina, Isaac and Sandy to examine what would happen if large wind farms, with tens of thousands of turbines, had been in the storms’ paths.

    I can tell them precisely what would happen.

    They would have had tens of thousands of busted turbines to clear up.

    Mind you, as I’m an engineer, my opinion is entirely worthless to Ivory Tower dwellers.

  108. Box of Rocks says:

    So how does one ‘grow wind’ at a ‘wind farm’?

  109. Dudley Horscroft says:

    ferdberple asks “What other machines built of metal are able to do this for long without failure?”

    Answer: turbines and alternators in a hydroelectric power station. These can come on line almost instantaneously. We had a look over some of the Snowy River Generation Plants. The engineers in charge told us that they could tell to within a few seconds when “A Country Practice” – a favourite TV show at the time – finished as hundreds of thousands of people got up to put the kettle on. As demand shot up, voltage went down and the turbines opened up to restore power. Alternators went from rotating at normal frequency with no power being generated (hence cool) to full power in seconds with no warm up. Hot in a few minutes.

    SasjaL says:
    February 27, 2014 at 1:59 am
    “Why not invest in real problems? In US there are the San Andrea Fault and Yellowstone that should be addressed. Not much that can be done when nature act, but pre damage control is better than the political collateral damage solution that’s used …”

    Answer: So far as the San Andreas fault is concerned, there are two ready made solutions. One is to drill hundreds of wells along the fault, and then, all of a sudden, pump thousands of tonnes of water down at high pressure. This will lubricate the fault so that the plates slip easily past each other, and since the movement would be preprogrammed, everybody would be in a safe place and there would be no deaths from the destruction – which would be minimal as the movement would be a gentle sliding and not a pulsating juddering. The other way is to lower a few spare tactical nuclear weapons down the drill holes and do the same.

    For Yellowstone, it is even simpler. Drill many holes and pipe down water, which will turn into steam at high pressure, cooling the magma until it solidifies, and improves the strength of the crust. However, leave one area in the centre a few miles across, and bury a Hydrogen Bomb in the middle about 10 miles down. Detonate this, the resulting shock will create so much disturbed rock that pressure will be lowered, even if only for a few seconds, and this will result in the magma in this area becoming less viscous – something like that paint that is solid till disturbed, but liquefies when a brush in put in it – and this will create a volcano to release the pressure, and prevent Yellowstone erupting as a super volcano.

    To deal with hurricanes, and typhoons, simply put a few hundred thousand windmills on the ocean, just off shore. They will such so much energy from the winds that – Oh No – someone has already thought of this!

  110. MAC says:

    As for wind turbines taming hurricanes, doncha think it’s a bit too late because hurricanes have not increased nor intensified over last several years. I can’t imagine putting grid full of offshore turbines in the paths of hurricanes seeing them get destroyed in the process. The unintended consequence would see higher electricity prices because idiots were dumb enough to put wind turbines in the path of hurricanes.

    I’d it’s a crash and burn proposal.

    http://i.dailymail.co.uk/i/pix/2012/02/15/article-0-0F1B58C900000578-404_634x423.jpg

    The U.K. has nothing like what the U.S. have when it comes to hurricanes in our area.

  111. Box of Rocks says:

    Nigel in Waterloo says:
    February 27, 2014 at 7:49 am

    Put very large wind mills on ships with a very large undersea cable to get the trons back to the mainline!

    Think of all the extra economic activity.

    Oh wait that was sorta proposed with different power of Jax Fl.

  112. Box of Rocks says:

    Answer: So far as the San Andreas fault is concerned, there are two ready made solutions. One is to drill hundreds of wells along the fault, and then, all of a sudden, pump thousands of tonnes of water down at high pressure. This will lubricate the fault so that the plates slip easily past each other, and since the movement would be preprogrammed, everybody would be in a safe place and there would be no deaths from the destruction – which would be minimal as the movement would be a gentle sliding and not a pulsating juddering. The other way is to lower a few spare tactical nuclear weapons down the drill holes and do the same….

    Wan’t that the idea behind a James Bond movie but at a different part of CA with a different outcome?

    And I still keep asking my dentist for stainless steel teeth!

  113. Vince Causey says:

    No more than mathematical head wanking.

    IF you build TENS of thousands of wind turbines AND they happen to intersect the path of a hurricane, THEN the costs of building the things is less than electricity generated PLUS hurricane damage avoided PLUS the benefits of avoiding catastrophic global warming. Oh, and the turbines won’t go into feathered mode because they will have succeeded in reducing wind speeds to the optimum levels.

    What planet do these clowns live on?

  114. jayhd says:

    The first thought that came to my mind when I read “From the University of Delaware press release” was that the backers of Maryland governor Martin O’Malley’s offshore wind farm were funding this study. The second thought was that the authors of this study really had no idea of the force of a hurricane.

  115. chris y says:

    A couple of thoughts on this:

    First, in order to prevent a hurricane from forming, the wind farm needs to be located far off-shore where most Atlantic hurricanes form. That isn’t going to happen.

    Second, it is not at all clear that a hurricane, once formed, will even lose wind speed as it crosses a frictional surface such as land or a wind farm array. It depends on whether the hurricane can still access moisture. Certainly an offshore wind farm (with a footprint that is much smaller than the hurricane) will allow plenty of access to warm surface waters. I doubt that a 100,000 turbine wind farm’s impact on hurricane wind speed can even be measured.

    Third, wind speed increases with height. Larger wind turbines will experience much larger max wind speeds c/w surface winds, and much larger damaging wind speed differentials between blade tips.

    Fourth, flooding from storm surge and rainfall are responsible for the bulk of the storm damage. A wind farm within 100 km of the shore will have essentially no impact on hurricane storm surge or rainfall total. Sandy was a recent example of a hurricane that weakened to a TS as it came ashore. The storm surge was much higher than that of a TS.

    Just quickly checking two hurricanes from our joyous 2004 Florida season, as hurricane Charley crossed over western Cuba (about 50 km of land) it strengthened from a cat 2 to cat 3. Hurricane Jeanne went from a TS to a cat 1 as it crossed over 100 km of hilly (more than 250 m high) regions in the eastern end of the Dominican Republic.

  116. Reasonable Guy says:

    Ummm, wow. Does this mean we need to install millions/billions along all coasts prone to hurricanes? How will poor countries view the rich if we don’t help them first?

    I think we should just get rid of the moon. It would remove tides and would therefore reduce flooding right across the globe.

    We really gotta think big.

  117. Damian says:

    Lol. Nuff said.

  118. Merrick says:

    And when this off-shore destabilization of low pressure systems results in more rain at sea and less rain over land (where the systems have often destabilized on the past as they come ashore) will the PPOPER anthropogenic effect be blamed for the decreased precipitation?

  119. rogerknights says:

    Their paper sounds like something out of a time warp–from the heyday of greenie tech utopianism a dozen years ago.

  120. MAC says:

    Let’s see. The area of an array of wind turbines vs hurricane Andrew? First let’s look at the world’s largest wind farm in UK as seen from space which covers 40 square miles.

    http://www.livescience.com/42741-london-wind-farm-photo.html

    The eye of hurricane Andrew was 10 miles wide or 100 square miles while the rest of the hurricane was 400 miles wide or roughly 160,000 square miles which is 4,000 times larger than the wind turbine array in UK.

    Humbling thoughts.

  121. DayHay says:

    From the NOAA website:
    One can look at the energetics of a hurricane in two ways:
    the total amount of energy released by the condensation of water droplets or …
    the amount of kinetic energy generated to maintain the strong swirling winds of the hurricane (Emanuel 1999).
    It turns out that the vast majority of the heat released in the condensation process is used to cause rising motions in the thunderstorms and only a small portion drives the storm’s horizontal winds.
    Method 1) – Total energy released through cloud/rain formation:
    5.2 x 1019 Joules/day or
    6.0 x 1014 Watts.
    This is equivalent to 200 times the world-wide electrical generating capacity – an incredible amount of energy produced!
    Method 2) – Total kinetic energy (wind energy) generated:
    1.3 x 1017 Joules/day or
    1.5 x 1012Watts.
    This is equivalent to about half the world-wide electrical generating capacity – also an amazing amount of energy being produced!
    Can you say pimple on an elephants ass?

  122. Oldseadog says:

    Hey, look at all the polluting gasses coming from the turbines in the picture.
    Can’t be good for the environment.
    (Half sarc.)

  123. MAC says:

    A video of a wind turbine destroyed by wind and it wasn’t even anywhere near hurricane windspeed.

  124. Walt The Physicist says:

    @Vince Causey says:
    February 27, 2014 at 8:03 am

    Well, this isn’t just mathematical head wanking. The third author, W. Kempton, is the Research Director for UD’s Center for Carbon-free Power Integration. So, I presume, he manages a bit of funding that is mostly extracted from our (the US taxpayer) pockets. Look at the funding sources listed in the article – NSF and NASA. But wait, this isn’t just waste of money this is, also, waste of some other (hopefully better) research opportunities as this subpar work took a fraction of very thinly spread funding pie.

  125. NoAstronomer says:

    “The net cost of offshore wind farms was found to be ….” “The calculations take into account savings… and assume a ….”

    Ah yes, financial estimate and assumptions – love ‘em.

    One part of my job is to provide a cost justification for the software projects I work on. Quite why I have to do it as a software developer and not the business area, who are in fact paying the bills, I don’t know but there it is. Fortunately, using fairly trivial ‘assumptions’ on revenue growth (2-3%) and cost savings (1-2%), I’ve found it quite easy to justify just about any project the department could conceivably accommodate.

    Of course the best thing about financial estimates is that even when a winged pig does a barrel roll through a frozen hell and you do get called out for being wrong then you can always say that they were just estimates.

    Mike.

  126. Crispin in Waterloo says:

    Well, if they are willing to build a wind farm with tens of thousands of mills having giant blades, a great deal more effect could be provided by feeding nuclear-generated electricity into the generators and pushing the winds back. Imaging the combined force of tens of thousands of windmills opposing the incoming hurricane! It could (according to my mental model) drive the hurricane out to sea where it would eventually wither away like a federal solar subsidy.

    This idea of generating power is for the ‘good times’ when there is no hurricane. Around the hurricane there are substantial winds that could be harvested to generate power that could fed into the windmills doing the heavy work of keeping the storm at bay, especially out of the bay. All we need to do this is build tens of thousands more of them. Sea wall, schmee wall. Think of all the jobs for your children!

  127. Fabi says:

    This wind turbine scheme will work very well in reducing the impact of hurricanes. I’m 97% certain…

  128. MAC says:

    Just a minimal Category 1 hurricane type wind destroyed these three wind turbines.

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2083149/Wind-turbines-cope-UK-weather-3-blown-pieces.html

    Last I remember we get Category 1, 2 3, 4 and even 5 hurricanes in these parts of the US.

  129. Tim Clark says:

    It’s all about elitetist ecoloonies and money. From their website:

    ” 3:30 p.m., Feb. 25, 2014–The University of Delaware will steer the way toward making offshore wind turbines a reality in the United States through a new initiative announced today at a major industry conference.

    The Special Initiative on Offshore Wind, housed at the University’s College of Earth, Ocean, and Environment, will serve as an independent catalyst for offshore wind development and add momentum to a promising industry that is at a critical juncture. ”

    Yeah, I’d say the juncture is critical, at best.

  130. Tom J says:

    If those wind turbines run for governor we can call them turbinators.

    I know it’s a stupid joke. But, what the heck, it’s a stupid idea.

  131. “The little turbines can fight back the beast”, said study co-author Cristina Archer.
    ————
    Sounds like a children’s story: the staunch windmills linked arms and bent into the wind. Valiantly they strove to hold back the evil carbon beast who huffed and puffed and blew his hurricanes against the brave little turbines.

    Tune in tomorrow for the next exciting episode!

  132. jorgekafkazar says:

    Well, of course, the proposal is utterly barmy in the crumpet. Turbines are far too complex and fragile for this service, and, as has been pointed out above numerous times, don’t work in hurricanes. But the latter fact is irrelevant if, instead of installing windmills, we simply install large structures with even higher wind-resistance. The bases could be widened, providing more support, and long, static arms could be attached firmly higher up.

    For aesthetic reasons, I’d suggest we make these structures statues. Can’t you see it now: a million statues of King Canute, arms raised against the fury of the storm? Oh, joy.

    /guesswhat

  133. onlyme at 5:06 am
    From the study, array size is minimum 300 GW. The turbines specified are 7.58 MW. Simple division shows a minimum of 39578 turbines are needed in the path of a hurricane. The list price of one unit is $14 million plus install costs. (found on wiki)

    $2 Million/MW (nameplate) is for onshore turbines.
    Offshore, in 100 ft of water, rated to survive 150 mph winds, I don’t think you get under $5 Million/MW. $38 million per 7.6 MW turbine. A cool $1,600 Billion, $1.6 Trillion, for a 40,000 turbine wind farm.

    Offshore wind farms worth some €8.5 billion ($11.4 billion) were under construction in European waters in 2011. Once completed, they will represent an additional installed capacity of 2844 MW.[28] (wikipedia)
    That reference run at about $4 million / MW offshore Europe which doesn’t have to survive Cat 4 and 5 storms. It is only 1/100 the size of the proposed hurricane damping 300 GW farm.

  134. Wouldn’t the construction of Wind Farms to “Tame Hurricanes” be classified as Geoengineering?

    WUWT just had something on that subject on Feb. 25, 2014
    GEOMAR researchers show limitations and side effects of large-scale climate intervention

  135. lemiere jacques says:

    so wind turbines cause climate change.

  136. Tamara says:

    John M says:

    February 27, 2014 at 1:54 am

    So, by this logic wind farms change the environment by reducing wind and wave heights. I wonder what negative environmental impact this has ?

    Oh, it’s OK. Hurricanes are “unusual.” “Hurricanes are a different animal,”

    The normal, acceptable, conformist weather will be left alone. It’s just these unusual, inconsiderate, inconvenient, non-conformist weather phenomena that we’re allowed to alter at will.

  137. Jim G says:

    jdseanjd says:
    February 27, 2014 at 1:48 am
    “Sometimes, Anthony, you just got to burst out laughing.
    Not long ago, I ran across the story of a PPE (Politics, philosophy & economics) graduate from Oxford, no less, who thought the solution for our present economic woes was simply for the BOE (Bank of England) to print more money.
    Our universities now are no more than factories of fear & fantasy.
    JD. :)”

    That is just exactly what the Federal Reserve is effectively doing in the USA to the tune of $75 billion per month or so. Must, therefore, be the right thing to do. No?

    As far as this windfarm concept the men in the white jackets should be after these “researchers” with nets and straight jackets as they are certifiable.

  138. Jeff Fant says:

    OMG!…look at all the GHG emissions coming off those turbines.

    [we assume you forgot the /sarc tag - mod]

  139. Steve says:

    Are you sure this wasn’t published in the Onion? I’m in tears I’m laughing so hard….

  140. clarity2016 says:

    I was gonna leave a lengthy reply but the rest of you beat me to it. This is insanity. The cost would be simply astronomical to build and maintain these in the middle of the ocean. The estimates cited are a joke.

  141. Steve says:

    I am deeply saddened, and embarrassed to know, that in some way, shape, or form, I have paid for this study. Had I any input at all to the funding decision, I certainly would not have approved this preposterous research. This fad of modeling equals science needs to end soon. I need to watch a rerun of Steve Squires analysis of the rover science to remind me of what real science is….bring back the data gatherers, and throw out the guys with the pretty pictures.

  142. Tim Obrien says:

    Let me get this straight…. They want to disrupt a NATURAL process that may well be a necessary part of the ecosphere? With no idea of the consequences? These econuts are the real danger…

  143. Lawrence 13 says:

    My study is far more convincing.

    I say living in Britain that stringing tens of thousands of wind turbines south to north across the country to harness our dominant westerly’s would cause far more power consumption than less. The reason? Well by the time the wind hit the turbines and had its energy drained then the eastern side of the turbines would be always windless thus being unable to dry washing in theirs gardens would be forced to use tumble dryers and thus defeat the whole object of the enterprise

  144. Roger says:

    You have not only paid for the “study” but for the travelling dog-and-pony show that the authors engage in presenting this “ground breaking” research at conventions and climate change conferences around the world…
    BTW the turbines:
    “Simulations were run for each case: one with no wind turbines
    and a second with 7.58-MW Enercon E-126 spaced one every
    0.45 km2 within 100 km of the coast in specified areas.”
    Do the math at $14 million list price time 100,000 = $1.4 trillion per installation….what a fantasy…sad, really

  145. Bruce Cobb says:

    OR, they could build walls 1,000 feet high to stop tornadoes
    At a cost of only $62 billion per 100 miles.

  146. Neo says:

    I’m surprised that they didn’t determine that these wind turbines were slowing down the rotation of the Earth

  147. Bob says:

    And… The Denmark turbines are causing massive tornados, typhoons, and hurricanes in other parts of the world. Unintended consequences.

  148. Walt The Physicist says:

    @Steve says:
    February 27, 2014 at 9:56 am

    Let’s look at the positive side: some number of graduate students had their scholarships paid while getting premium education in Stanford and UD. I have checked and it seems that overwhelming majority of the grad students at the UD College of Earth, Ocean, and Environment are Americans. In the EE Department of UD with which the last author is affiliated only about 40% of grad students appear to be foreign. That is in comparison to about 70% of foreign graduate students in the Science and Engineering Departments of the major research Universities in the US. So, at least the UD part of the team distributed funding from the US taxpayers to the US students and it is fair. I don’t know status with foreign grad student presence in Stanford… Another positive side: a number of research personnel, engineering and technical personnel, staff assistants, etc. received their salaries from this funding or the associated overhead. Also this funding supported scientific research infrastructure that is needed in order for few truly talented scientists to perform valuable research. Last but not least, this publication provided a lot of fun and entertainment to all of us as the results were announced today in the national news…

  149. Joe R says:

    The kids who wrote this paper should have read the study from DOE. It’s estimated half of any off-shore windmills built would be destroyed by hurricanes within 20 years.
    http://www.pnas.org/content/early/2012/02/06/1111769109

    As noted in a Popular Mechanics article the cost to build a hurricane proof windmill would make the endeavor not worth it.
    http://www.popularmechanics.com/science/energy/solar-wind/will-hurricanes-wipe-out-offshore-wind-farms-6655421

    This link provides what appears to be for a presentation of their paper.
    http://www.energy.udel.edu/wind2013/Jacobson_1302UDelHurrTurb.pdf

    How this stuff gets past a peer review is beyond me.

  150. Resourceguy says:

    There are two large and powerful forces at work here, hurricane energy and taxpayer resources being flung about.

  151. philjourdan says:

    @JohnWho – Re:

    Or, put 400,000 of them in 40k groups in the 10 most likely areas where a hurricane would develop.

    I’m seeing some problems here.

    Only “some”??? Actually after reading the previous posters estimate of the number it would take, I was struck by the same thought as you. But also that they are like a Zip Gun. Only good for one shot. One Hurricane, one Trillion dollar windmill farm destroyed.

    While we have had a relative long period without major hurricanes hitting the US, it cannot last. We have but to look at 9 years ago to see what the other side of the “longest hiatus without a major hurricane strike” is like.

    But the one aspect they are nothing like a zip gun, is cost.

  152. Berényi Péter says:

    @rgbatduke

    Next up! Hurricane damage can be controlled by spreading plastic wrap over the ocean to starve the evaporative cycle!

    Splendid idea. All kind of things can be wrapped, we only need to scale it up a bit to wrap up the ocean. To cover costs, a special wrapper tax should be introduced, to be balanced against the social cost of wraplessness.

    Lots of crude oil would also do an excellent job. Who cares about the environment if Gaia is at stake?

  153. mike g says:

    How is a knocked over wind turbine resting in pieces on the bottom of the ocean going to reduce the energy of a passing hurricane? I guess some energy had to go into knocking it over in the first place.

  154. earwig42 says:

    Dagnabbit, I it the bulls**t button so hard it broke. Now I’ll have to but a new one.

  155. Gary Hladik says:

    ‘“The little turbines can fight back the beast,” said study co-author Cristina Archer’

    Has Josh seen this paper? Too easy a target, maybe?

  156. I wonder how much of our taxpayer money was wasted on this joke of a “study”??? Seems the wind whackos have finally conceded the fact that wind turbines do cause climate change.

    Since industrial wind turbines shut down when winds are above 50 mph or so, and a Category 1 hurricane is winds of 74 mph, they might as well stick tens of thousands of telephone poles out there and argue that the 500 foot-tall poles will stop a hurricane. What are these people smoking???

    Jon Boone sums it up nicely in his essay, “Oxymoronic Wind”:

    “The juggernaut for the dumb and dim of wind—a defective technology resurrected to sell tax shelters, made in China and assembled by temporary teams of international workers, justified by American and European “scientists,” engineers, gadgeteers, and an assortment of political wonks from both Republicans and Democrats spawned via federal grants to major universities (Stanford/MIT)—is the very apotheosis of Ikeʼs concern. And itʼs all done, much like the derivativeʼs trading schemes in housing and banking, to sell subprime energy–at the publicʼs expense.”

    Read the entire article at:

    http://alleghenytreasures.com/2011/01/23/jon-boone-oxymoronic-windpower/

  157. Walt The Physicist says:

    Let’s look from a perspective… They proposed this research around 2009, just after Ike and only 4 years after Katrina. Nobody else submitted to the NSF and NASA proposal that suggested study of taming a hurricane on a large scale with technology that (think as in 2009) is increasing in popularity and seems as a very technically promising. This is a winner! Yea, there is there one nerdy geek on the panel that scribbles some estimates showing that it will take 100,000,000,000 turbines to make a noticeable dent in hurricane energy pool… Who cares about this geek… Plus, Stanford and UD are reputable schools. Plus, this proposal does not compete with any of my ideas. The winner!

  158. clipe says:

    National Lampoon has been resurrected as Nature Climate Change?

  159. Jon says:

    New, improved hurricanes, with added turbine fragments! Coming soon to a coastline near YOU!

  160. I see many positives here but it has already been done—>

    “UK Sceptic says:
    February 27, 2014 at 1:41 am
    I live on the NW coast of England. There is a wind farm just a couple of miles offshore in Morecambe Bay. We had hurricane force winds just a couple of weeks ago and my damaged and destroyed ridge tiles and ripped up fence call BS on Archer’s and Jacobson’s study.”
    ++++++++++++++++++++++
    UK Skeptic – just think how bad it would have been if you hadn’t had that wind farm breaking up the wind before it hit you. 😏
    +++++++++++++++++++++++

    “… windfarms will be broken and turned to spikes on the ocean floor surrounded by litter….”

    Not a direct quote but the immense benefit is that there will be 180 km or so of debris field that will prevent bottom trawlers from working and great fish habitat for rehabilitating fish stocks. Fantastic idea to get us to pay for enhancing ocean productivity disguised as an energy project. 😜
    ++++++++++++++++++++++

    For Jeff in Calgary – you have noticed the warm wind blowing in Calgary in spite of that huge “wind farm” just to the west of you?

    We already have a HUGE wind farm down the spine of North America (called mountain ranges) that captures wind and water energy, sucking water out of the wind and dropping it on the mountains and the coastal plains (orographic lifting) providing power for millions of people and making Calgary the beneficiary of all that adiabatic heating when the Chinooks roar in across the prairies. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chinook_wind

    So, instead of building wind farms in the ocean, all we have to do is build that old canal down the Rocky Mountain Trench to take water to California and pile all the waste dirt up on the high plains to create more mountains and more water and more Chinook winds to warm them up. Some one update the cost/benefit analysis on that old study. 😖

    Apologies in advance/sarc off/ got my laugh for the day.

  161. NRG22 says:

    jauntycyclist says:
    February 27, 2014 at 1:10 am
    the current warmist narrative to not focus on IF there is climate change [that's settled science] but to ask what your RESPONSE to climate change is. Anyone who dares to dispute is of course ‘a denier’ thus a ‘crank funded by oil companies’

    That’s exactly what Mann said in his Q&A, if my reading comprehension is still working:
    http://i270.photobucket.com/albums/jj81/iamzelkova/Mobile%20Uploads/image_zpse48a6d3d.jpg

    I don’t think he even answered the question. His response was self serving, and I took it as “Don’t question MY work, do different work based on my work.” He flat out said the way to get grants and published papers is to start from the point that man made climate change is real. And the warmists wonder why the skeptics are disgusted? This is what’s being fed to university students.

    This Q&A was a better response to that question, no agenda here:

    http://i270.photobucket.com/albums/jj81/iamzelkova/Mobile%20Uploads/bceb4063-64f9-4234-9822-ef591e1bd209_zps45235c38.jpg

    This is why the 2014 midterm elections are going to be about climate change. Change congress and push through Obama’s agenda. Considering so many people believe in man made climate change I’m very concerned. If they succeed we’ll see things like these wind farms built even if it further bankrupts the country.

    Stop the world, I want to get off.

  162. F. Ross says:

    Please excuse me for shouting …
    UNINTENDED CONSEQUENCES!

  163. Leonard Lane says:

    Piling on is easy and sometimes harmful. But to let something like this twisted fairy tale be published and taken seriously, is degrading to science, engineering, and the intellectual capacity of our country.
    In the days past, say 50 or 60 years, the easiest course on campus was sociology. Now, at least at the universities I attended, the guaranteed A or B course on campus is……environmental science studies. Or interdisciplinary studies of the environment, or something like these terms.
    Sad, and we are reaping the results of this change.

  164. Richard Day says:

    I don’t need a computer model to tell me that this paper was generated by 40000 monkeys with typewriters.

  165. OssQss says:

    This is completely preposterous!

    I believe we are due a “grant money” refund.

  166. Riki says:

    HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!
    Wow, I really needed that laugh. It’s been a tough day…..

  167. 4 eyes says:

    The law of unintended consequences is working here. CAGW was dreamt up as a way redistributing wealth. Now all it is doing is redistributing dimwittedness. We would have been laughed out of engineering school if we had proferred such a solution in our 1st year general engineering class. We were meant to be able to filter out absurd solutions before putting pen to paper.

  168. george e. conant says:

    Oh Gawd, really!? An army of off shore wind turbines! I want a AGW grant. I have lots of bad ideas!

  169. Kate Forney says:

    I wonder what the study assumed as the economic life of a wind turbine, and if they considered maintenance and the eventual retirement of them into the cost of building them.

    It’s hard for me to say I know much about engineering because I don’t, but this doesn’t really pass the smell test.

  170. Walter Allensworth says:

    The inmates are running the asylum!
    (sorry if this highly likely post has already been made)

  171. Gamecock says:

    Reverse the current, turning the turbines into fans.

    Yeah! That’s the ticket!

  172. ntesdorf says:

    After the array of wind turbines has attempted to do its job, there will be a lot of work required to repair them, stick the blades back on and bend the masts up into place again, ready for the second hurricanes. The videos of the initial collapse will be entertaining.

  173. MattS says:

    “The videos of the initial collapse will be entertaining.”

    The shrapnel coming on shore at 90+ mph won’t be very entertaining.

  174. Carl said:
    So they’re claiming a modeled drop in “Hurricane” Sandy’s wind speed of 78 to 87 MPH. I found NOAA data online that clocked Tropical Storm Sandy at 49 MPH sustained with gusts up to 73 MPH at JFK. So… 49 minus 87 equals…

    The sustained wind speeds may have been 49 mph on land, but they aren’t taking about putting the wind farm on land. The wind farm would be offshore where the wind speeds were higher.

    Frankly,I’m skeptical of the 78 mph reduction, but it isn’t as absurd as you suggest. The sustained wind speeds were 105 mph on 25 October.
    http://www.nhc.noaa.gov/archive/2012/al18/al182012.public.012.shtml?

    Again, I doubt the modeled reduction, and wonder if someone garbled the reading mistaking a reduction from 105 to 78 as a reduction of 78 mph.

  175. bobl says:

    … sandy wasn’t a hurricane it was just a big storm a lot like the ones we get in the north west here in Oz. ,/i>

    Sandy was a hurricane, you can look it up. Many people mistakenly think it was a hurricane when it made landfall in the US; they are wrong. However, the people in Jamaica and Cuba think it was a hurricane when it hit land. There are places other than the US.

  176. Thinkbeforeyoulaugh says:

    Those looking for further amusement (or evidence concerning the paper’s author’s sense of humor, sanity or lack thereof) can obtained a pdf copy of the paper from: http://www.stanford.edu/group/efmh/jacobson/Articles/I/WindHurricane/HurricTurbPaperNatCC.pdf

    A 7.58 MW turbine has a hub that is 130 m above the surface and a rotor that is 90 m in diameter. The author’s plan calls for one every 0.7 km2, so they would be spaced about 1 km apart. (For comparison, the towers of the Verrazano Narrows Bridge are about 210 m high and 1 km apart. So they are proposing an array of towers with height and spacing similar to the Verrazano Narrows Bridge (or the Golden Gate Bridge with an extra tower in the middle.) With rotors that sweep out about 10% of the area between them… Up to half a million of them. That’s a serious windbreak.

    An efficient turbine can abstract about 1/2 of the power in the wind passing through it. That will reduce the velocity of the wind passing thorough the rotor by the cube root of 1/2. If the same parcel of air passes through three turbines, its velocity will have been cut in half and its power (to cause damage) to an 1/8. Since only about 10% of the air up to 200 m above the ground passes through the blades, one would need thirty rows of turbines to reduce wind speed by 50%. But 30 rows of turbines 1000 km long represents only about 10% of the number of turbines in a typical proposed array. This back-of-the-envelop calculation suggests that a large array has potential to moderate a hurricane.

    While RGB is correct in pointing out that hurricanes release almost a PW of power, almost all of this energy is latent heat. The wind power in a hurricane is only 1.5 TW, comparable to the power the authors hope to extract with turbines. So two lines of evidence suggest the possibility that hurricanes could be moderated by such an array. This could allow the array to survive. (For the wind power in hurricanes, see: http://www.aoml.noaa.gov/hrd/tcfaq/D7.html, but their value for world-wide electricity production appear to be too low by a factor of 10X).

    Sorry Andy, these aren’t climate models. Betz Law limits the maximum power a rotor can extract from the wind. The rotor on a turbine is analogous to an airplane wing and we’ve had reasonable models and practical experience working with these objects for decades. The power entering a rotor that is not converted to electricity or heat (friction) remains in the exiting wind, which is turbulent and used inefficiently by downwind turbines. We also have models that predicted how much power would be obtained from off-shore wind farms that were later built. The power entering a rotor that is not converted to electricity or heat (friction) remains in the exiting wind, which is turbulent and used inefficiently by downwind turbines.

    Surprisingly, the real impracticality of the project comes from non-science issues. With an installed cost of perhaps $30M for each turbine, the cost for the largest array would be $15T (comparable to annual US GDP or national debt). The total cost of the largest construction project in history, the Panama Canal, was equivalent to only 1% of the US GDP at the time. To complete a large array, we would need to build and erect about 50 turbines/day for a two decades. By the time we finished, the oldest turbines would need to be replaced! In theory, the cost of the project might be recovered from selling the electricity it produced. That could be 5% of GDP, just to pay for electricity that won’t be available when the wind doesn’t blow. Given the density of the array, many turbines will be downwind of other turbines and receive less power. If the proposed array of turbines can cut wind speed in half and harvest 7/8 of wind power from hurricanes, many turbines will be operating in an extremely inefficient environment for the other 99% of the year.

    On the few days per year when a hurricane IS moving through this array of turbines, another problem will arise: What to do with 1+ TW of electricity – when the whole country uses an average of 2-3 TW? The rotors can’t be feathered – the hurricane will not be moderated and the array could suffer severe damage. A high-capacity grid would be needed for a few days to spread this power across the entire country without blowing circuits. Most other generators will be running in reserve mode (usually emitting CO2), so they are prepared take over as the hurricane dies out.

    [Are all of the above paragraphs your own claims, or have you quoted any one else? Mod]

  177. Goldie says:

    All this and yet they have no impact on natural ecosystems or human beings………..honest!

  178. OssQss says:

    Unintended consequence was mentioned several times on the blog.

    Here is an example.

    Wouldn’t this still count as climate change?

    http://web.mit.edu/newsoffice/2010/climate-wind-0312.html

  179. n.n says:

    Hurricanes are a natural feature of the system with the purpose of restoring thermodynamic equilibrium. Perhaps instead of preventing or weakening their existence, we should adapt to this known natural and necessary mechanical process.

    To each a purpose, and everything with a purpose. Leave the windmills to do what they do best, puree our fine flying friends.

  180. Curious George says:

    Enjoy the product of a left-leaning academia.

  181. Mr Lynn says:

    Crispin in Waterloo says:
    February 27, 2014 at 8:44 am

    Oh rats! Crispin beat me to it. I was going to point out that the obvious solution is to run the windmills in reverse, and simply blow the hurricane out to sea. But Crispin already did:

    Well, if they are willing to build a wind farm with tens of thousands of mills having giant blades, a great deal more effect could be provided by feeding nuclear-generated electricity into the generators and pushing the winds back. Imaging the combined force of tens of thousands of windmills opposing the incoming hurricane! It could (according to my mental model) drive the hurricane out to sea where it would eventually wither away like a federal solar subsidy. . .

    Ah well, great minds think alike.

    /Mr Lynn

  182. Chad Wozniak says:

    Makes you wonder whether these yo-yos who put out this “study” have ever even seen a wind turbine.

    Hurricane-force winds will chew up wind turbine blades like so much tissue paper.

  183. Ryan says:

    So what cartoon and episode is this going to play in. Maybe I’ll watch it and see how the super environmental hero saves the world again. This isn’t quite as good as the mirrors in space to reflect the suns rays away from earth to counteract global warming though.

  184. Mikesixes says:

    I thought the reason for the windmills was because burning fuel changes the weather, and we’re not supposed to change the weather. So why isn’t it bad when windmills change the weather?

  185. Tom in windmill free Florida says:

    If this turns out to be a success we can then put thousands of windmills along the U.S./Canadian border to blow the Polar Vortex back to the North Pole. The cost will be offset by the savings of not having to supply the energy to heat all buildings in the northern U.S.

    On a more serious note, since dry air is the death of hurricanes perhaps it would be better to put thousands of dehumidifiers all over the oceans to dry out the air. We could pipe the extracted water to holding tanks in areas known for droughts. ( Ok, that really wasn’t a more serious note).

  186. Gamecock says:

    Crispin in Waterloo says:
    February 27, 2014 at 8:44 am

    Sorry, Crispin, I didn’t notice you had already made the suggestion.

  187. Dudley Horscroft says:

    Thinkbeforeyoulaugh says:
    February 27, 2014 at 3:59 pm

    “A 7.58 MW turbine has a hub that is 130 m above the surface and a rotor that is 90 m in diameter. The author’s plan calls for one every 0.7 km2, so they would be spaced about 1 km apart.”

    “An efficient turbine can abstract about 1/2 of the power in the wind passing through it. That will reduce the velocity of the wind passing thorough the rotor by the cube root of 1/2. If the same parcel of air passes through three turbines, its velocity will have been cut in half and its power (to cause damage) to an 1/8. Since only about 10% of the air up to 200 m above the ground passes through the blades, one would need thirty rows of turbines to reduce wind speed by 50%. But 30 rows of turbines 1000 km long represents only about 10% of the number of turbines in a typical proposed array. This back-of-the-envelop calculation suggests that a large array has potential to moderate a hurricane.”

    Right. The height of the blade at the top is 200 m (allowing the bottoms of the blades to be 25 m above sea level) and the circle of the blades is 90 m. As the turbines are about 1 km apart, a row will only intercept about 10% of the low level air flow – ignoring the area outside the circle but in the square. The troposphere extends a fair way up – about 17 km near the equator, and strong hurricanes extend into it. 200 m is only about 1 – 2% of the height of a typical height of a hurricane, so the surface based windmills would only intercept about 2% of the vertical field. This means that the large array mentioned could be only likely to capture about 10% times 2% = 0.2% of the energy of the hurricane.

    On this basis, the energy needed to be transmitted ashore is far below the estimates given by many people, above, but still damaging. And as the wind farm is in the region of strongest winds, still liable to the maximum damage.

    Somehow I can only think that the vision of billions of Statues of King Canute – or perhaps of Michael Mann – is the only way to tame hurricanes. Thank you, jorgekafkazar , for the suggestion.

  188. Gunga Din says:

    Sooo…….
    Man causes “climate change”. That’s bad.
    Man changes “climate change”. That’s good.
    I’m not sure if I “got it” or I’ve “been had”.

  189. rbravery says:

    Off shore wind farm + hurricane = undersea wind farm…

  190. Ignorant, Arrogant, and Decadent.

    The slogan that fits best.

  191. ImranCan says:

    Given that turbines are shut down at about Beaufort scale 7, how is this hypothesis going to work ?

  192. Unmentionable says:

    I’m all for oceans full of wind farms for as long as none of it’s publicly funded, and there are no public bailouts, guarantees or clean-ups of any kind, if it tends to collapse through the event-horizon of a stupidity-hole.

  193. john says:

    Words fail me (almost) !!
    Instead of sitting in air-conditioned offices playing doomsday arcade games on computers with badly written software, these ‘scientists’ ( and I use the word loosely), should get out & experience a force 9 in a trawler, join some storm chasers & then do a basic math’s course. Then they could estimate the carbon cost of “of tens of thousands of turbines” that like King Canute will achieved nothing.
    Natures does what nature does…live with it…or perish.

  194. Twobob says:

    If you say had two of these wind farms in different locations.
    and used the power from one to power the other and visa versa.
    you could move the storm around.
    Just as silly idea?

  195. George Ellis says:

    I MUST spend more time prospecting. Once I find that unobtanium deposit, I am going to be sooo rich supplying unobtanium for hurricane farms. I think I will get a red and a blue Ferrari…

  196. prjindigo says:

    There are only two things that we know for a fact will stop hurricanes:
    Cold water and huge forested areas.

    I say we add another 300 miles of forested plains with man made water features completely around the Florida coastline!

  197. Proud Skeptic says:

    Ok…intuitively this seems logical that wind turbines would take some of the energy from a storm. I guess beach chairs do the same thing for tsunamis.

  198. MattS says:

    rbravery says:
    February 27, 2014 at 11:29 pm

    Off shore wind farm + hurricane = undersea wind farm…
    ==============================================
    You are mistaken. Off shore wind farm + hurricane = hurricane + on shore shrapnel.

  199. onlyme says:

    stephen rasey says:

    “$2 Million/MW (nameplate) is for onshore turbines.
    Offshore, in 100 ft of water, rated to survive 150 mph winds, I don’t think you get under $5 Million/MW. $38 million per 7.6 MW turbine. A cool $1,600 Billion, $1.6 Trillion, for a 40,000 turbine wind farm. ”

    The link for the cost of the turbines specified at 7.58 mw is:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Enercon_E-126 or http://cleantechnica.com/2013/08/23/worlds-most-powerful-wind-turbine-may-undergo-high-winds-coastal-tests/

    These are Enercon Model E-126 as specified in what appears to be a presentation based on this paper at http://www.energy.udel.edu/wind2013/Jacobson_1302UDelHurrTurb.pdf The relevant passage regarding the specific model states “7.58-MW Enercon E-126 spaced one every 0.45 km^2 within 100 km of the coast in specified areas.”

    “The Enercon E-126[1] is a wind turbine model manufactured by the German company Enercon. With a hub height of 135 m (443 ft), rotor diameter of 126 m (413 ft) and a total height of 198 m (650 ft), this large model can generate up to 7.58 megawatts of power per turbine, making it the wind turbine with the highest nameplate capacity. The power output of the generator was changed from 6 MW to 7 MW after technical revisions were performed in 2009. Since 2011 the E-126 is available as a 7.6 MW nameplate windturbine. Actual output in service may slightly exceed the nominal rating. The E-126 incorporates power electronics and offers grid stabilising capabilities.[2]

    The weight of the foundation of the turbine tower is about 2,500 t, the tower itself 2,800 t, the machine housing 128 t, the generator 220 t, the rotor (including the blade) 364 t. The total weight is about 6,000 t.[3]

    The first turbine of this model was installed in Emden, Germany in 2007.[4]

    The list price of one unit is $14 million plus install costs.[5]”

    The webpage stating cost for these specific units makes no mention of differing equipment cost depending whether on or offshore. The second link references a project which is specifically offshore.

    I specifically stated that was just equipment cost. Your figures show installation costs 3 times that of equipment costs. Offshore I guess it’s possible.

    The study stated also a MATURE industry which implied to me production cost decreases and installation cost reductions but … to what extent?

    Regardless the actual figures, and I consciously chose to calculate the LOWEST cost and not even guesstimate the installation costs, the projects are essentially insanely expensive and from my viewpoint as an engineer a total waste of money and time to even consider installing given current state of the art or reasonable projections of advances.

    1.5 trillion for the minimum effectively sized array may well be good ballpark figure, but even that I would expect to be underestimated.

    clarity2016 says:
    February 27, 2014 at 9:55 am

    I calculated only the minimum equipment only cost which is nonetheless astronomical.

    Kate Forney says:
    February 27, 2014 at 2:34 pm

    http://www.pnas.org/content/early/2012/02/06/1111769109 suggests that without some great improvements in turbines, anchoring, tower structure strength, nacelle orientation etc, about 1/2 will be destroyed by the end of the projected 20 year service life.

  200. TonyG says:

    So we slow down hurricanes. Mess with natural weather patterns. Sounds like a good idea.

    What happens when there is no more weather?

    And what happens if they do this and it doesn’t work?

    How many people are going to have to die for this foolishness to stop?

    It’s difficult to be optimistic when “scientists” come out with stuff like this.

  201. Thinkbeforeyoulaugh says:

    Moderator: I’d never heard of this paper before, but had read something really dubious about renewable energy from the U of Del before. I did a google search for the title of the paper, because I was curious if the rest was as bad as it appeared, especially after RGB and other reported that hurricanes released far too much energy. I decided on my own that certain aspects weren’t as scientifically ridiculous as they appeared. Wind turbines extract energy from the wind, leaving the air exiting them with less kinetic energy than before. On paper, at least, the authors have enough wind turbines to do the job.

    We can’t afford to build that many wind turbines. They will lousy producers of electricity, except during hurricanes, when there will be too much.

  202. @onlyme at 7:09 am
    Many thanks for the reference and quotes.

    I’ll accept $14 Million per 7.6 MW unit as the list price on the factory floor of FOB rail car.
    Plus transportation, permitting, installation costs. (shudder).
    2,900 tons for the tower ?!? That pushes the capacity of the biggest offshore cranes.

    40,000 turbines. Built over 20 years. Seven per day when the weather is good. Times how many days/turbine installation = how many work crews. Wow. Oh, almost I forgot…. It takes 5 years to permit a big onshore pipeline… How long for an offshore wind farm?
    I agree: Madness.

    Here is a ?Masters Thesis from Caitlin Howland, Digital U of Maine, The Economics of Offshore Wind Energy, May 2012
    Fig. 4.1, page 43, has a figure from Levitt 2011 estimating 3.7-5.5 Million / MW, but the cost curve has almost doubled since 2005. I suspect that the capex/MW isn’t linear and increases as the facilities get bigger.

  203. Thinkbeforeyoulaugh says:

    Dudley: If the hub is 130 m above the surface and rotor is 90 m in diameter (45 m in radius), it won’t come closer than 85 m to the surface of the water. However, the dimensions I reported were slightly wrong and therefore some of the area calculations. A German company has built and installed more than 100 Enercon E-126 wind turbines with a nameplate capacity (maximum) of 7.58 GW. These are the type the authors modeled. The rotor is 126 m in diameter. How close to the ground do you think it comes?
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Enercon_E-126

    After wind passes through its turning rotor, does it still have the same amount of kinetic energy (velocity as before)? If your answer is yes, review the law of conservation of energy. The dreamers who wrote the article are proposing an array big enough to harvest all of the kinetic (wind) energy contained in a hurricane. Hurricanes are powered by evaporation of warm ocean water and the latent heat released much higher (colder) in the atmosphere. The rate of evaporation depends on wind speed. When hurricanes move inland, the wind slows due to surface friction and there is less water to evaporate. Their damaging surface winds and evaporation subside. If you do the same thing with an array of turbines, the same thing should happen (and does in their model). The problem isn’t the concept (or the idea of testing it with a model capable of representing the key processes powering hurricanes), it’s the practicality.

  204. onlyme says:

    Stephen Rasey says:
    February 28, 2014 at 10:54 am

    Thanks for the study link.

    I noticed in the masters? thesis that the shallow water base structure is single pylon, not tripod as recommended for hurricane prone areas.

    The further into this idiocy I look, the worse it gets.

    With current immature technology for hurricane prone areas, an immature industry, high equipment prices which don’t seem to be benefiting from scale of manufacture cost decreases, labor price increases, storage and grid connection problems, salt environment long term maintenance effects, and no provable cost of carbon as there is currently no proof temperatures are increasing globally or that additional #CO2 in the atmosphere is anything other than beneficial to biomass production, I marvel at the thought anyone could seriously propose something like this as a viable solution to anything, whether #CO2 control, #Climate mitigation or modification or extreme weather control.

  205. Jared says:

    Thinkbeforeyoulaugh, you might need to thinkbeforeyoupost. Do the Carribean Islands shield the Gulf Coast from hurricanes? Nope. But your wind farms will? To really slow down a Hurricane with friction you need something really big like a Continent. Islands and Wind Farms are just toy cars to a Hurricane.

  206. Gunga Din says:

    I think the Scientific Journals should check to see if the authors also write for the SyFy channel.
    Maybe SyFy rejected it because it didn’t have enough action?

  207. JohnWho says:

    Gunga Din says:

    February 28, 2014 at 3:46 pm

    I think the Scientific Journals should check to see if the authors also write for the SyFy channel.
    Maybe SyFy rejected it because it didn’t have enough action?

    Uh, maybe rejected it because it lacked believability, falling way behind a “sharknado”?

  208. H L Wegley says:

    I like Jared’s comment about even large islands not stopping hurricanes. And, as a retired meteorologist, I see so many ways to poke holes in the theory of wind turbines ameliorating hurricane damage that I don’t know where to begin. So, I’ll mention only one that I don’t think anyone else hit upon — did the folks modeling extracted power from hurricane winds consider that the energy of the storm comes from the warm water? Did they model the thermodynamics of hurricanes as part of this study? A wind farm doesn’t cut off the source of energy, so simply subtracting the energy turbines will “supposedly” extract tells us very little about what would actually happen. Here’s my first thought about a hurricane reaching the outer edge of a wind farm. Turbines at the outer edge of the farm either shut down or are damaged when a strong hurricane reaches them … then the next layer of turbines are destroyed or shut down … then the next … I’m sure you get the picture by now.

  209. MattS says:

    @Thinkbeforeyoulaugh

    “They will lousy producers of electricity, except during hurricanes, when there will be too much.”

    You are incorrect. They will produce zero electricity during and / or after hurricanes. There would be a very brief spike in production as the hurricane approached, but the turbines would all be ripped to pieces long before they were hit by the hurricane itself.

  210. MattS says:

    @H L Wegley,

    It’s worse than you think. The only way they could get even an infinite number of wind turbines to draw as significant amount of energy from a hurricane is to assume a currently unknown material that is both light enough for wind turbine construction and strong enough to stand up to hurricane force winds.

  211. Thinking of hurricane damage…
    I remember Platform Thunderhorse after Hurricane Dennis 2010. A very close call.
    It took a week to right the platform. Six weeks later it was in the core of Katrina and survived with less damage than Dennis. But had it not been for Dennis exposing an Achilles Heel of Thunderhorse it would probably be on the ocean floor after Katrina.

    A Hurricane map of 2001-2005 Cat3 + storms, Looks busy. Yet 2005 was the last Cat 3 landfall we’ve had in the US. We will be over 3100 days since the last Cat 3 before the 2014 hurricane season starts.

  212. Correction to 8:04 pm, Thunderhorse and Hurricane Dennis was 2005, not 2010.

  213. Dudley Horscroft says:

    Thanks, Thinkbeforeyoulaugh. Me error. The details of the turbine you provide the link for are:

    “The Enercon E-126[1] is a wind turbine model manufactured by the German company Enercon. With a hub height of 135 m (443 ft), rotor diameter of 126 m (413 ft) and a total height of 198 m (650 ft), this large model can generate up to 7.58 megawatts of power per turbine”

    OK, so the lowest part of the swept circle is 135 – 63 = 72 m above sea level, and the top is 135 + 63 = 198 m above sea level. The area of the swept circle is 12 469 sq m. The area from sea level to 200 m, in the stretch between one turbine and the next – 1 km is 200 000 sq m. Hence each turbine only sweeps through one sixteenth of the csa of the hurricane up to 200 m.

    In a previous post I assumed that the rotating cross sectional area at full strength would be the full height to the tropopause, perhaps 17 km. Think – the rotating mass is doing that because at the centre the air is sucked upwards, and so somewhere the air will have to be blown out of the Hurricane. So I will cut the area to be considered to only 10 km high. 200 m is one fiftieth of that distance, so all the turbines in one row, even if able to extract 100% of the energy of the air passing through their swept circles, would only be able to extract 1/16 x 1/50 of the energy of the hurricane. This, if my maths is correct this time, is 0.125% of the energy. Succeeding rows will be able to extra energy – 10 rows might be able to extract 1.25% of the energy. 100 rows may be able to extract 12.5% of the energy – perhaps. IIRC someone posted that a turbine can extract 1/3 of the energy of the wind passing through the swept circle. If this is right, those 100 rows will be able to extract about 4% of the energy. That is, of course, if that energy can be safely delivered ashore, and used, or stored.

    If my calculations are wrong again, please let me know so I can apologize!

  214. george e. smith says:

    I heard a news story the other night, where they were calling for building walls to keep ot tornados in the USA.

    These walls, would be 1,000 ft tall, and I think they said 150 ft wide. I guess they would have gaps, to let people and cars through. Tornados would not be allowed to go through the gaps.

    At no time in the news bulletin, did they say the walls would need to be able to withstand tornado wind speeds.

    I suspect that Dubai, might bid on a contract to build the walls. They seem to be able to build structures that are a lot nuttier than anyone else can.

    Heaven knows, what hurricanes might do to a tornado fence, so Tampa’s Tornado Alley, may not get protected.

    Imagine having a 1,000 ft deep swimming pool in your back yard. The higher the walls, the deeper the pool; ask N’Orleans !

  215. anengineer says:

    Assuming for the moment that his wind turbines actually can stop a hurricane, has he also determined the effect those turbines will have on climate in the same area?

    Well I think that it is obvious the same effects they have on a hurricane will apply that all winds will be slowed (And how will that effect the windmill economics?) and evaporation (possible drought along the Gulf coast), as well as being fairly good cloud spreaders for any rain coming from the outside.

    Somehow I don’t think the idea will pass the environmental review. The cure looks to be worse than the problem.

  216. Thinkbeforeyoulaugh says:

    Dudley: Your second response sounds much more reasonable. I don’t claim to have proved their idea must work; just that there is some reasons for thinking the science could work. The fundamentals I trust are: 1) Turbines extract about half of the kinetic energy in the wind that passes though their rotors when operating. 2) The capacity of the total array is comparable to the kinetic wind energy in a hurricane. I shouldn’t have speculated about layout and how many time the average packet of wind might pass through the rotor of a turbine; even once (50%) could be significant. However, a hurricane is clearly not going to pass through all of the turbines and the turbines are not high enough reach all of the wind. Turbines can sever the critical linkage (high winds) that dramatically increase evaporation from the warm ocean surface and carries the water vapor to the colder upper troposphere – the heat engine that powers hurricanes. Once that linkage is weakened (as happens when a hurricane moves over land), the hurricane should begin to dissipate. Unless the remaining upper level winds can regenerate surface winds, the main mechanisms by which hurricanes cause damage (wind and storm surge) also will be weakened. The authors demonstrate this weakening with their model, but I don’t know anything about the reliability of hurricane modeling.

  217. w.w.wygart says:

    Could work – Once.

    Did they come up with any estimates of what a Cat5 hurricane, like Katrina when she was out in the Gulf, would leave left of the thousands of wind turbines over run by the storm?

    Seems like a very cost ineffective method of hurricane damage mediation. Probably much more cost effective to discourage people from living in below sea level cities, barrier islands, or other places known to be frequently clobbered by hurricanes.

    W^3

  218. TonyG says:

    george e. smith says:
    I heard a news story the other night, where they were calling for building walls to keep ot tornados in the USA.

    Just came across that, too. Here’s a link to a story about it: http://www.usatoday.com/story/weather/2014/02/25/giant-walls-tornado-alley/5808887/

    It’s being presented by Rongija Tao from Temple University at the March meeting of the American Physical Society

  219. RE: usatoday giant walls in tornado alley
    The walls would need to be about 1,000 feet high and 150 feet wide, he said.
    Wide? No 1,000 feet high, 150 feet THICK, and hundreds of miles wide (or long). Estimated cost $60 billion per 100 miles. 600 million per mile? 30 million cubic yards of wall per mile for $20 per cubic yard? Even if we make the cross section an isosceles triangle, it is still 10 million cubic yards / mile.

    Forget the economics. Let’s just look at the meteorology. I wager that wall would be an excellent for the generation of wind sheer and gigantic “rotors”, horizontal wind eddies that can breakup and become the seeds of tornados. After the wall is built, we can expect tornados every day about tea-time.

    This guy’s cure is worse than the disease.

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