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Storm Domestication

Taming a hurricane
  [vote for,

Katrina's 10 years ago this week so this a slight variation on the other hurricane power extraction ideas.

Computer simulations indicate that a large number of fixed position wind turbines would have reduced the intensity of hurricane Katrina. The costs, both dollar wise and environmentally, of installing 80 thousand wind turbines for each region that might be impacted have most people looking at it less than seriously.

As an alternative to the fixed position turbines would it be possible to develop a mobile flotilla of semi-autonomously remotely operated rigid sail vessels with subsurface turbine generators. The generated power would be used to linear accelerator launch within the calm of the storm eye electric prop propelled drones. These drones would climb to the top or near top where they would expend any remaining battery energy producing a synthetic sheer or otherwise destabilize the structure. Once the drone’s prop power is depleted it would then do a controlled fall with the prop reversed to extract power from the eye wall to recharge its battery as much as possible. The drone is recovered from the water's surface and redeployed to one of the sail vessels to begin the cycle again. The intention is to use the power of the storm to disrupt or redirect the force as a martial arts fighter might deflect the blow of an aggressor.

Lowball budget estimate based on the annual cost of evacuations: (1,000,000 cars X 10 gallons fuel X $3 X 2 for return trip) + (1,000,000 overnight hotel X $100) = $160M

If this would work there is also that good chunk of carbon dioxide we could prevent!

dataloss, Aug 26 2015

Computer Simulations at Stanford http://stanford.edu...ane/WindHurric.html
The link is to the paper's author and includes a link to a PDF or html version. [dataloss, Aug 27 2015]


       //Computer simulations indicate that a large number of fixed position wind turbines would have reduced the intensity of hurricane Katrina.// Link?   

       Also, congratulations on your first HB post!
MaxwellBuchanan, Aug 27 2015

       According to computer simulations, Earth should be without icecaps and oil while providing a habitat for 20 billion humans who make regular excursions to moon colonies that serve test-tube-meat burgers and kelp salad on the side.
Cuit_au_Four, Aug 27 2015

       // regular excursions to moon colonies //   

       No, thankyou. Can't you go to Venus or Mars or somehwere ? It's nice and quiet up here, apart from when that Presley bloke has one of his noisy concerts.
8th of 7, Aug 27 2015

       How about massive nukes for storms? If you have a Hurricane spinning anti-clockwise, as they are wont to do, headed for the coast of Florida, say, then BOOOM!!!! you detonate a massive nuke underwater on the right hand side. Now your nuke has lifted much water into the air. This water has a horizontal velocity of near 0. The hurricane must accelerate this water* to keep going, this will slow it down on the right just a tad, kinking it's path. Now, instead of a hurricane headed for Florida, you have a radioactive hurricane headed for South Carolina.   

       * and some dead fish, admittedly.
bs0u0155, Aug 27 2015

       Hi [dataloss], and welcome to the insane asylum know as the halfbakery. I really can't comment on your idea, as it's over my head. But I wanted to welcome you anyway. So there.
blissmiss, Aug 27 2015

       [bs0u0155], the "nuke the hurricane" idea has been posited before (here probably, but other places definitely) and it is normally the concensus that it would be a Very Bad Idea.
Mostly because a large, destructive, chaotic entity would become a RADIOACTIVE, large, destructive, chaotic entity.
neutrinos_shadow, Aug 27 2015

       Welcome. Nice idea, well thought through, with enough detail to keep the pedants engaged, and enough flaws to warrant comment.   

       The energy present in a mature hurricane is..., well lots, and the amount of energy that may be harvested from it by turbines is probably insignificant, even if you could build a turbine robust enough and mount it on a suitably stable platform and position it relative to the rotation of the wind. So the hurricane would likely wreak its devastation regardless.   

       There's another kind of inertia to overcome too; that of political will. It's much easier to 'sell' disaster recovery and reparations when you have evidence of devastation, than it is to sell disaster prevention when human nature is habitually optimistic. (Not me, though, obviously.)
Tulaine, Aug 27 2015

       Perhaps we can name the power extractors with pet names so that we can say, "go get it Fido" or "sic em Spot"
dataloss, Aug 27 2015

       I’ll have to agree that there is a lot of energy in a storm. This whole idea came to me while I was a Katrina evacuee and refugee in Houston, when there was another call for the evacuation of millions. An estimated 2.5-3 million crowded the roads. As Rita rolled in (at my wife’s insistence, we did not evacuate again) I spent a restless night looking out the window at the gridlocked traffic on the highway. I thought that there had to be a better way. But what could be done? The storms have always been considered too powerful for people to control. At that time I did a rough estimate of the power consumed by people during that evacuation and it seemed that a large number of people are able to control (or waste) as much power as that of a hurricane. ( 10 gallons of gas 10^8J times a million cars is roughly 10^15J or roughly the kinetic energy in a hurricane)   

       I wrote a short fictional novel in which the destructive power of hurricanes could be diminished by deploying thousands of remotely operated power harvesters that would extract power from structural elements of hurricanes - on the water's surface, in mid-elevation on the eye wall, and from sheering at the top elevation.   

       I wrote that novel many years ago as a way of releasing the stress from the annual hurricane season worries. Then a years ago I read the study by Dr. Mark Jacobson of Stanford on the significant impact a large wind turbine array positioned in the Gulf of Mexico had on a computer model simulation of Katrina. That along with recent drone technology confirmed for me that storm control did not need to be fictional. But maybe that is just my wishful thinking.
dataloss, Aug 27 2015

       Congrats on writing a novel - did it get published?   

       Also bonus points for putting some calculation into this one. Interesting that the energy used in evacuating is comparable to that in the hurricane...
MaxwellBuchanan, Aug 28 2015

       I wonder what the effect on the overall system would be if something like this was deployed and found to accomplish it's intended purpose.   

       Would it all resolve itself in buffered effects, or are there unforeseen consequences of damping such an event ?
normzone, Aug 28 2015

       It would probably cause the Chinese stock market to collapse. Oh, wait...
MaxwellBuchanan, Aug 28 2015

       Agree that if targeted properly the structure might be disrupted with less power but please no missiles!   

       It is available but not what I would call published… i’ve never tried to contact any publishers… it is more of an autistic spectrum dyslexic’s semi stream-of- conscience story that I made available via Amazon as an experiment along with three other roughly 200 page fictional novels. It is more a mental exercise that I push myself through in retirement.   

       I can’t imagine that there would not be consequences but at the same time I think there are much greater negative environmental consequences of having a high intensity storm come in and tear everything up. In my first novel “The Weather Age” I struggled a bit with Earth’s current Type I civilization classification on the Kardashev scale. It seems to me, with the weather at least, that we are approaching a point of transition. So the consequence of not dampening the storm is that when, as I said, a high intensity storm comes in and tears everything up then the natives will come back and spend a lot of energy rebuilding. Yes, and I often wonder about the wisdom of living in a place with storm hazards, or is it earthquake hazard, or dry climates and the potential for droughts, flood potential, wildfires… where was I going with this? If we as a civilization do something to moderate the storms then people, a significant player of nature, might not do as much damage to the environment by not having to produce so much waste during the evacuation and if needed cleanup and rebuild.   

       Here is a short version of consequences: Yes there are consequences.... any attempt to diminish the intensity of the storm should be limited (if I was certain that a class 3 storm would not intensify I would not evacuate)   

       We should not use nuclear or other harmful chemicals to reduce the intensity.   

       Strive to use only the power of the storm to dampen the storm (no fossil fuel power barges or drones)
dataloss, Aug 28 2015

       As a technical aside, aren't all novels fictional by definition? In any case, if you're on the autistic spectrum you'll fit right in here. We are pretty much a full-spectrum community. Which probably makes us white noise.
MaxwellBuchanan, Aug 28 2015


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