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(Gizmodo)   "What if we just turned the hurricanes into electricity??" Oh honestly, what ignorant boob imagines thi-- Neil DeGrasse Tyson??? Is that YOU???   ( gizmodo.com) divider line
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2492 clicks; posted to Geek » on 02 Oct 2017 at 6:10 AM (10 weeks ago)   |   Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2017-10-02 01:13:36 AM  
An interesting thought expt bc if you could somehow use the winds as a source of energy it implies that that would reduce the strength of the winds.

Obviously not in realms of present day tech, but how would you do it? Macro scale - large heavy duty wind turbines? or micro scale - lots of small drones?
 
2017-10-02 06:15:12 AM  
Rhetorical point

Yep.
 
2017-10-02 06:40:56 AM  
Great: 400-mile wide whorl of lightning.

Imagine that creeping across the Atlantic and headed straight for where you live:

orig08.deviantart.netView Full Size


No wind, but everything's been charred flat.
 
2017-10-02 06:42:05 AM  
Sure......... but HOW? That's kind of important. If you had the power to do it you probably would be advanced enough not to need to.
 
2017-10-02 07:11:34 AM  
Considering humans haven't really been able to make and maintain the regular infrastructure needed for modern living, getting something strong enough and stable enough to use the energy of a hurricane would be a bit of a reach.  Making it cost effective?  Yeah right.

Did see one NOVA special on some guy up in Canada researching how tornadoes possibly could be used as electricity generators, but that's a bit more problematic.  But the research is being done.
 
2017-10-02 07:17:37 AM  

ArcadianRefugee: Great: 400-mile wide whorl of lightning.

Imagine that creeping across the Atlantic and headed straight for where you live:

[orig08.deviantart.net image 800x589]

No wind, but everything's been charred flat.


It would often be heading for Florida. You DON'T want to be giving many of those people superpowers.
 
2017-10-02 07:18:39 AM  
NDT or not, that is a unrealistic and dumb statement.
 
2017-10-02 07:35:56 AM  
Thats how we got Highlander 2.
 
2017-10-02 07:54:58 AM  
Provided that we can build a wind generator that can withstand +200mph winds year after year and not flinch, and actually make ROI with said structures. Not to me ruin the amount of batteries needed to store all the extra electricity. Yeah sure.
 
2017-10-02 07:55:54 AM  
Hey if you can figure out how to do it all the more power to you
 
2017-10-02 08:02:21 AM  
He totally stole that idea from McKay

vignette1.wikia.nocookie.netView Full Size
 
2017-10-02 08:12:25 AM  
Are you implying ignorant boob was an inappropriate description?
 
2017-10-02 09:03:58 AM  

kayanlau: Provided that we can build a wind generator that can withstand +200mph winds year after year and not flinch, and actually make ROI with said structures. Not to me ruin the amount of batteries needed to store all the extra electricity. Yeah sure.


This would require a predictable path year in and year out.
 
rpm
2017-10-02 09:12:07 AM  

ArcadianRefugee: Great: 400-mile wide whorl of lightning.

Imagine that creeping across the Atlantic and headed straight for where you live:

[orig08.deviantart.net image 800x589]

No wind, but everything's been charred flat.


Isn't that powered by the wind? Remove the energy source, no lightning storm. Of course, it's not going to happen either way.
 
2017-10-02 09:34:56 AM  
Let us assume, just for sake of argument, that we actually can find a means of doing this.

Think of what will happen to the coal companies. Is cheap, clean energy really worth the loss of those CEO bonuses?
 
2017-10-02 09:37:47 AM  

ArcadianRefugee: Great: 400-mile wide whorl of lightning.

Imagine that creeping across the Atlantic and headed straight for where you live:

[orig08.deviantart.net image 800x589]

No wind, but everything's been charred flat.


The Asylumn will have that film on Syfy by the weekend.
 
2017-10-02 09:45:31 AM  
Goddammit, Neil.  We're as far away from being able to do that as we are from FTL space travel, if not farther.
 
2017-10-02 09:50:35 AM  
Find a way to tap into the thermal energy that fuels the hurricanes.  Problem solved.  Free energy, no hurricanes.
 
2017-10-02 09:52:23 AM  

American-Irish eyes: kayanlau: Provided that we can build a wind generator that can withstand +200mph winds year after year and not flinch, and actually make ROI with said structures. Not to me ruin the amount of batteries needed to store all the extra electricity. Yeah sure.

This would require a predictable path year in and year out.


Fleets of roll on/roll off trailers loaded with (a) a battery box (which would be weighty enough not to be pushed around by hurricane-force winds; maybe outriggers too) with (b) omni-directional ("egg beater", not pivoting propellers) wind turbines mounted on top. Drive into the projected path, drop off, set up, skedaddle, come back afterwards for a trailer full of electricity. Huge investment in materials for low return, but it would look cool.
 
2017-10-02 10:07:52 AM  

kbronsito: He totally stole that idea from McKay

[vignette1.wikia.nocookie.net image 200x133]


B-but Pluto is the first of the Plutoids now!  It's cool!!
 
2017-10-02 10:11:03 AM  

indy_kid: Find a way to tap into the thermal energy that fuels the hurricanes.  Problem solved.  Free energy, no hurricanes.


Or maybe just blast that g*ddamn butterfly on the coast of West Africa with a shotgun before the whole thing gets started.

/ no energy gained, though
// Obscure?
 
2017-10-02 10:30:12 AM  

Ned Stark: Are you implying ignorant boob was an inappropriate description?


Are you implying that it wasn't?
 
2017-10-02 10:40:23 AM  
SpaceyCat: Considering humans haven't really been able to make and maintain the regular infrastructure needed for modern living

That's not an engineering problem. That's a problem of governance -- regulation and planning. The problem with market forces is that economics doesn't care about what's good for people, only what's good for money, in a sense.

When I moved to Florida, many years ago, I was struck by how strange it is that in this country we build essentially the same houses in Anchorage and in Orlando, and pretty much everywhere else. There are differences, but from an engineering standpoint they're extremely minor differences -- and extremely insufficient ones.

But when I lived in Florida, I learned that the infrastructure there, especially housing, is meant to be destroyed by the weather. Florida doesn't have a state income tax because its economy has a couple of major 'strange' factors: tourism and federal disaster relief. It relies on rebuilding shiatty structures that tend to be damaged by storms.

We could build concrete dome housing, or even just reinforced homes with different roof structures. We could manage water channels and flood zones better. We could avoid widespread home destruction in wildfires. It would, in fact, be far cheaper than rebuilding endlessly.

But cheaper and better is not what the economy runs on, and public policy follows the money.
 
2017-10-02 10:43:35 AM  
img.fark.netView Full Size
 
2017-10-02 10:46:11 AM  
Well, Gates, et al, didn't come up with the hydrothermal idea, but at least he's trying.

Still, for all we know the consequences of not having hurricanes could be worse than the consequences of having them.
 
2017-10-02 10:51:03 AM  
I don't know why people have an issue with this. All we need is a fleet of drone ships hardened against hurricanes with an upper deck that's a nest of wind turbines. Middle decks are filled with flywheels to use the motion of the ocean. Lowest decks filled with a system that cos the
 
2017-10-02 10:56:32 AM  

Boudyro: I don't know why people have an issue with this. All we need is a fleet of drone ships hardened against hurricanes with an upper deck that's a nest of wind turbines. Middle decks are filled with flywheels to use the motion of the ocean. Lowest decks filled with a system that cos the


Fark accidentally hit add comment.

Anyway, fill the bottom decks with a system to cool the seawater around the ship. Then you are sucking energy from the storm while also minimizing it.

Being drones you can keep the ships out to sea for long stretches, throw them at any storm they can get to and on non-stormy days wave and wind action can still be generating minimal power.
 
2017-10-02 11:24:06 AM  

Snarfangel: [img.fark.net image 453x675]


Looks like solar freakin roadways...
 
2017-10-02 11:29:12 AM  
 
2017-10-02 11:34:01 AM  

mjjt: An interesting thought expt bc if you could somehow use the winds as a source of energy it implies that that would reduce the strength of the winds.

Obviously not in realms of present day tech, but how would you do it? Macro scale - large heavy duty wind turbines? or micro scale - lots of small drones?


Build a bunch of really big armored floating islands equipped with giant turbines, immense batteries and/or undersea electrical cables, massive sea anchors, and some form of motive power so they could (slowly) move. Deploy them in the mid-Atlantic or other places where they would be likely to intercept hurricanes. Being a worker on one of those would be a hell of a job. There's some good SF novel material there, as well.
 
2017-10-02 11:34:52 AM  
So a stupid idea becomes less stuipd if a celebrity says it?
Good to know.
 
2017-10-02 11:35:59 AM  

SpaceyCat: Considering humans haven't really been able to make and maintain the regular infrastructure needed for modern living, getting something strong enough and stable enough to use the energy of a hurricane would be a bit of a reach.  Making it cost effective?  Yeah right.

Did see one NOVA special on some guy up in Canada researching how tornadoes possibly could be used as electricity generators, but that's a bit more problematic.  But the research is being done.


You have to factor in the expected cost savings of not having to rebuild storm-ravaged cities.
 
2017-10-02 11:38:49 AM  

kayanlau: Provided that we can build a wind generator that can withstand +200mph winds year after year and not flinch, and actually make ROI with said structures. Not to me ruin the amount of batteries needed to store all the extra electricity. Yeah sure.


Again, your ROI has to include the foregone opportunity cost of not having to spend billions rebuilding cities hit by uncontrolled hurricanes.

But then again, what is the environmental cost of stopping a hurricane? Seriously, hurricanes exist for reasons. harlee is sure that some of them involve the necessity of moving energy around on the Earth.
 
2017-10-02 11:41:51 AM  

Harlee: Again, your ROI has to include the foregone opportunity cost of not having to spend billions rebuilding cities hit by uncontrolled hurricanes.


You also have to factor in what other things could have been done with the time/money/material spent on building whatever you're building.
 
2017-10-02 11:42:28 AM  
Why would you want to generate electricity during a hurricane? Everyone's power is out anyway.
 
2017-10-02 11:53:23 AM  

sunderland56: Why would you want to generate electricity during a hurricane? Everyone's power is out anyway.


You'd make an awful Bond villain.
 
2017-10-02 12:42:47 PM  

Harlee: mjjt: An interesting thought expt bc if you could somehow use the winds as a source of energy it implies that that would reduce the strength of the winds.

Obviously not in realms of present day tech, but how would you do it? Macro scale - large heavy duty wind turbines? or micro scale - lots of small drones?

Build a bunch of really big armored floating islands equipped with giant turbines, immense batteries and/or undersea electrical cables, massive sea anchors, and some form of motive power so they could (slowly) move. Deploy them in the mid-Atlantic or other places where they would be likely to intercept hurricanes. Being a worker on one of those would be a hell of a job. There's some good SF novel material there, as well.


Just drain the farking oceans. Poof, no more hurricanes.
 
2017-10-02 12:55:35 PM  
""Where are the engineers and scientists saying, you know, instead of running away from the city that's about to be destroyed by this hurricane, let me figure out a way to tap the cyclonic energy of this hurricane to drive the power needs of the city that it's otherwise going to destroy?"

We're working real jobs instead of living in academia and off the punditry circuit.
 
2017-10-02 01:00:06 PM  
Here's the paper, "Intermittent generation of 1.21 gigawatts through lightning capture" by Dr. Brown, Emmet and Mr McFly, Martin
 
2017-10-02 01:34:10 PM  
Look at his twitter feed, he says dumb shiat all the time, and usually with a heaping mug of smug..  If only he were racist and thin-skinned too, he'd be the Donald Trump of the left.
 
2017-10-02 02:33:09 PM  

Best Princess Celestia: ""Where are the engineers and scientists saying, you know, instead of running away from the city that's about to be destroyed by this hurricane, let me figure out a way to tap the cyclonic energy of this hurricane to drive the power needs of the city that it's otherwise going to destroy?"

We're working real jobs instead of living in academia and off the punditry circuit.


Also the bigger issue is what do you do with the zetajoules of energy you harvest from a hurricane?  Blow up the moon?  Create a spirit bomb and show Vegeta he's a whiny ho?

Seriously even if we could somehow convert all that kinetic energy into something else what do you do with it afterwards?  We don't have storage for 5% of our daily energy use.
 
2017-10-02 03:11:32 PM  

Splinthar: Also the bigger issue is what do you do with the zetajoules of energy you harvest from a hurricane?  Blow up the moon?  Create a spirit bomb and show Vegeta he's a whiny ho?


You threaten to wreck the power grid with it if they don't pay you a MILLION DOLLARS!
 
2017-10-02 03:18:22 PM  

Snarfangel: [img.fark.net image 453x675]


There was some girl a while back floating this idea, but I forget her name.  It was a really interesting idea.  Just google "Tub Girl" to find the article.
 
2017-10-02 03:37:37 PM  
When I proposed hurricanes as a power source in a recent "how much coal/uranium/antimatter it would take to serve the world's energy needs" Fark article I was not being serious, I now find I have to say.
 
2017-10-02 03:46:51 PM  

BenSaw2: indy_kid: Find a way to tap into the thermal energy that fuels the hurricanes.  Problem solved.  Free energy, no hurricanes.

Or maybe just blast that g*ddamn butterfly on the coast of West Africa with a shotgun before the whole thing gets started.

/ no energy gained, though
// Obscure?


Machines of Loving Grace?
 
2017-10-02 04:30:54 PM  

WelldeadLink: Splinthar: Also the bigger issue is what do you do with the zetajoules of energy you harvest from a hurricane?  Blow up the moon?  Create a spirit bomb and show Vegeta he's a whiny ho?

You threaten to wreck the power grid with it if they don't pay you a MILLION DOLLARS!


/whisper: sir, its 2017, a million dollars is actually a really small amount to utility companies.
 
2017-10-02 05:53:02 PM  

BenSaw2: indy_kid: Find a way to tap into the thermal energy that fuels the hurricanes.  Problem solved.  Free energy, no hurricanes.

Or maybe just blast that g*ddamn butterfly on the coast of West Africa with a shotgun before the whole thing gets started.

/ no energy gained, though
// Obscure?


The butterfly causes a hurricane, but your shotgun blast causes a typhoon.

Damned-if-you-do, damned-if-you-don't.
 
2017-10-02 05:55:45 PM  
From TFA:
"Also, trapping the energy of a hundreds-of-miles-wide and highly destructive tropical cyclone is only loosely theoretically possible and would require planetary engineering techniques that are fantastical by current technological standards."

This is what I like it will people like NDT. Where is others complain about how difficult it would be for have a can't be done, forward-thinking people ask the question of why we aren't trying to solve those problems right now. Everything is bloody hard. The problems have Solutions, and solution-focused people move us forward. Problem-focused people hold us back.

I think the world needs more people who think like and NDT.
 
2017-10-02 06:09:13 PM  

kbronsito: He totally stole that idea from McKay

[vignette1.wikia.nocookie.net image 200x133]


But come one, who here hasn't stolen an idea from the great Rodney McKay?
 
2017-10-02 06:30:07 PM  
Easy enough. Just figure out how to extract heat at a distance. Then scale up. How hard can it be?
 
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