Feb
26
2014

Crazy or genius? Can wind turbines tap and sap the energy in hurricanes?

Is it possible to deflate hurricanes by wind energy?: Huge wind turbines off the coast of Denmark show a small-scale version of an off-shore wind farm that could sap the energy of hurricanes and tropical storms.
Is it possible to deflate hurricanes by wind energy?: Huge wind turbines off the coast of Denmark show a small-scale version of an off-shore wind farm that could sap the energy of hurricanes and tropical storms.Courtesy Leonard G.
A new study claims that positioning large, off-shore wind farms in the path of oncoming tropical storms and hurricanes can reduce the damage those storms inflict. The extra electricity they produce is just an added bonus.

The study's findings contend that "tens of thousands of turbines can lower a hurricane's wind speed up to 92 mph and reduce its storm surge up to 79%."

But is it realistic to think that such a big wind operation could actually be built? Currently there are no operating water-based wind farms in the United States. The largest off-shore wind turbine sites being considered for construction have about 200 turbines planned. Those facilities are being planned off the coasts of Texas and New England. There are small-sized off-shore wind plants in Europe and China.

But if a huge wind operation was feasible, the study estimated that such a plant would have saved a lot of damage in the 2005 Hurricane Katrina in New Orleans. Somef 78,000 wind turbines — each 50 feet tall — could have slowed Katrina's wind speeds up to 78 mph and cut its storm surge up to 79%, the report from Stanford University said.

What do you think? Is this an idea ahead of its time? Is it pie – make that blowing pie – in the sky? Share your thoughts here with other Science Buzz readers.

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Your Comments, Thoughts, Questions, Ideas

time to wacth weather 55567's picture
time to wacth weather 55567 says:

you people r crazy if something went wrong u could have made the earthquake more severe

posted on Tue, 04/22/2014 - 4:25pm
Angelina M. Y H's picture
Angelina M. Y H says:

This article is tres ahead of it's time- but perhpas not. The idea isn't as science-fiction as you may think.

posted on Fri, 06/20/2014 - 3:25pm
Alpha's picture
Alpha says:

I dont know why no one has done this before. Maybe scientists can get electricity from lightning...

posted on Sat, 07/19/2014 - 10:38am

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