Another big NE wind project approved.

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peakbagger

Minister of Fire
Jul 11, 2008
8,841
Northern NH

1900 MWs is nothing to sneeze at. I am waiting to see results on long term dispatch reliability of US offshore wind.
 
I’m waiting to see what happens off the NC /SC coast. I’m a bit in disbelief that this wasn’t started 10 years ago. We have a decent port but not much large scale manufacturing. Had a company come in an hire hundreds to make rail cars. That didn’t last a year.
 
I've always wondered, are there wind turbine systems that can survive a cat 5 hurricane?
Of course they'd be stopped (generating), but it's a lot of force on the construction, both from wind and water.
(This is not a NC/SC issue; as off of the NE etc. winds can still be v. high when a hurricanes come up, and waves probably th esame.)
 
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Not sure on any of the big MW class units, my former company built 100KW "Artic grade" units and several of them were installed on islands in the Caribbean that survived lesser hurricanes. My guess is the biggest issue with hurricane damage is flying debris that have picked up momentum (Mass multiplied by velocity squared) hitting the stationary turbine. No big debris in the oceans unless another turbine fails.

I do think that is question with the floating turbines although most of the those designs just have deep floatation structures. Most of the turbulence in an ocean is in the top layer so of the floatation is deep enough there isnt a lot of up and down movement.
 
The bending strength of the blades is finite too, though.
 
Lots of R and D is being pumped into turbine design for offshore wind in hurricane zones. No doubt there will be failures but expect there will be several validated designs that will work. The North Sea may not get hurricanes, but they get some pretty wild weather and there are wind turbines surviving them.
 
Lots of R and D is being pumped into turbine design for offshore wind in hurricane zones. No doubt there will be failures but expect there will be several validated designs that will work. The North Sea may not get hurricanes, but they get some pretty wild weather and there are wind turbines surviving them.
Being able to withstand Eye wall of a cat 5 is not a realistic design spec IMO. 150 mph sustained is probably good enough.
 
Keep in mind the met commnity is seriously talking about adding a Cat 6 category, a few recent hurricanes would qualify.
 
Being able to withstand Eye wall of a cat 5 is not a realistic design spec IMO. 150 mph sustained is probably good enough.
I think that depends on the cost and the consequences of a park failing, and the frequency of that happening.
The cost is very large, and the consequences will be reasonably large. The frequency is of course low, but increasing, as is the power of hurricanes..

Bottomline, who would want to insure the capital.
 
Keep in mind the met commnity is seriously talking about adding a Cat 6 category, a few recent hurricanes would qualify.
That has little impact to the general public other than highlighting the increasing severity of storms. Eyewall of a cat5 or cat6 won’t leave much if anything behind.
 
My guess is the pylons stay standing and blades would be ripped off. Blades and the equipment to replace them are routine scheduled maintenance items so it probably would be a matter of months to replace the blades. The wiring is underwater until it meets the land so that probably is safe although it could get damaged by wave scouring near shore. My guess is the damage from a Cat 6 to shoreline is something that takes years to recover. Wind turbines or not, society is not ready for a CAT 6. This year the national hurricane center is predicting a far more active Hurricane season than recent years. If the right climate conditions setup, if one CAT 6 forms, there may be several in year.
 
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Wind turbines or not, society is not ready for a CAT 6. This year the national hurricane center is predicting a far more active Hurricane season than recent years. If the right climate conditions setup, if one CAT 6 forms, there may be several in year.
With the warmer ocean temps in the Atlantic, this does seem to have a higher possibility of happening.
 
With the warmer ocean temps in the Atlantic, this does seem to have a higher possibility of happening.
I do wonder how the recent slowing if not stopping of the gulf stream will affect things?
 
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I do wonder how the recent slowing if not stopping of the gulf stream will affect things?
If the Gulf Stream flow stopped, the consequences for Europe would be devastating. However, it seems that is unlikely to happen. The Atlantic Meridional Overturning Circulation (AMOC) could be disrupted somewhat due to climate change and the consequences of that on weather systems and rainfall could be significant.
 
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I do wonder how the recent slowing if not stopping of the gulf stream will affect things?
All the heat it transports north will just stay nearer the equator that is bound to make strong storms more probable and intense.
 
But those storms might loose strength more quickly when moving north? Or is that loss not quick enough...
(i.e. what would it do for LI, CT, MA?)
 
But those storms might loose strength more quickly when moving north? Or is that loss not quick enough...
(i.e. what would it do for LI, CT, MA?)
Good question. If the waters are cooler in northern coastal areas then the storm should loose strength as it passes over them. Extreme rainfall could still happen. There are other factors that are in play so a situation where a very strong storm gets slung quickly northward may be possible. I guess we'll know by October.
 
But those storms might loose strength more quickly when moving north? Or is that loss not quick enough...
(i.e. what would it do for LI, CT, MA?)
I think Sandy type events where a storm is going through or has gone through extra tropical transition won’t decrease in probability. The total energy of the storm will be more and it’s my opinion that that will translate to more damage. Reasonably one would think without a Gulf Stream the extra tropical transition would happen sooner so less severe impacts at the center of rotation but more wide spread impacts due to the larger size. I haven’t seen any models as to what would happen without a Gulf Stream but changing the ocean temps would be easy to enter into a model.
The larger scale weather patterns and how they would be impacted will be much more challenging.

Coastal flooding will keep increasing either way.
 
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Hmmm. All of this Hurricane talk seems a bit dire and speculative.

One consequence of Global Warming is that things like building codes will need to be amended. Right now, things like local winter snow loads, local minimum and maximum temps (and dewpoint), maximum rates of rainfall, maximum wind speeds, earthquake energy, are all taken into account when setting engineering specs for new buildings. Older buildings will need to be retrofitted to meet the new specs, which can be costly, or lead to expensive damage or losses if not performed.

So, we might need more AC power in more areas, better wind resistance and better gutter/drains for bigger storms. OK. That is getting done. Maybe we need to clear wildfire fuel away from built environments. That is not being done.

Offshore wind machines are designed to a maximum service wind speed and a maximum survival wind speed when feathered. I have no idea which is worse... the fatigue from periodic forcing at the average wind speed for 30 years (under maximum load for power generation) or a short load period of the maximum survival wind speed (when feathered). But I think I have read that the fatigue issue under average load is significant design driver.

If any of you know which is worse, please let us all know. Otherwise, I think we are catastrophizing to assume that these machines are going to be underengineered due to changes in hurricane patterns over the next 30 years.

When I went a funeral in Sarasota FL a couple years ago, there was a predicted landfall for a major Hurricane the following week. The locals pointed out that a major Hurricane had not landed on that section of the west coast of Florida for 100 years. Right? A place where the Gulf temps are routinely over 90°F in the summer (they reached 100°F ocean temps when I visited last year) hadn't had a major hurricane in a century.

OF course, they broke their streak when Hurricane Ian landed near Fort Myers with 150 mph winds.

Turns out that many structures survived the wind, because they had been engineered for it, and the damage was from the storm surge. Some older structures lost their rooves and were destroyed.

These wind machines will be engineered to survive a big blow when feathered. Its not clear what the marginal cost of that will be. It could be that the resulting design changes will (absent any hurricanes if you get lucky) lead to a longer service life.
 
Hmmm. All of this Hurricane talk seems a bit dire and speculative.

One consequence of Global Warming is that things like building codes will need to be amended. Right now, things like local winter snow loads, local minimum and maximum temps (and dewpoint), maximum rates of rainfall, maximum wind speeds, earthquake energy, are all taken into account when setting engineering specs for new buildings. Older buildings will need to be retrofitted to meet the new specs, which can be costly, or lead to expensive damage or losses if not performed.

So, we might need more AC power in more areas, better wind resistance and better gutter/drains for bigger storms. OK. That is getting done. Maybe we need to clear wildfire fuel away from built environments. That is not being done.

Offshore wind machines are designed to a maximum service wind speed and a maximum survival wind speed when feathered. I have no idea which is worse... the fatigue from periodic forcing at the average wind speed for 30 years (under maximum load for power generation) or a short load period of the maximum survival wind speed (when feathered). But I think I have read that the fatigue issue under average load is significant design driver.

If any of you know which is worse, please let us all know. Otherwise, I think we are catastrophizing to assume that these machines are going to be underengineered due to changes in hurricane patterns over the next 30 years.

When I went a funeral in Sarasota FL a couple years ago, there was a predicted landfall for a major Hurricane the following week. The locals pointed out that a major Hurricane had not landed on that section of the west coast of Florida for 100 years. Right? A place where the Gulf temps are routinely over 90°F in the summer (they reached 100°F ocean temps when I visited last year) hadn't had a major hurricane in a century.

OF course, they broke their streak when Hurricane Ian landed near Fort Myers with 150 mph winds.

Turns out that many structures survived the wind, because they had been engineered for it, and the damage was from the storm surge. Some older structures lost their rooves and were destroyed.

These wind machines will be engineered to survive a big blow when feathered. Its not clear what the marginal cost of that will be. It could be that the resulting design changes will (absent any hurricanes if you get lucky) lead to a longer service life.
Sure it's speculative. Sure hurricane impacts are a statistical gamble, with low probability for any location.
But for folks living in areas that can suffer significant impacts (as in much more than SE PA), these are valid concerns. Are intensities (the consequences of a low-probability event) going to be larger or not.

I think Ebs-P is correct - though it needs to be borne out by the data (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Accumulated_cyclone_energy)

Building codes - of course existing homes are not going to be upgraded any time soon (codes are not going to be updated anytime soon). These things always follow circumstances and are never ahead of the curve.

New wind turbines will likely be built with more updated technology, given that they need to have insurance, and insurance companies are quite aware of the changes in climate.
 
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I'm not trying to be pollyanna about hurricanes and the climate. I am just saying that different events follow some sort of Bell shaped curve, with a tail to the right (bad) side, in say, max wind speed or storm energy.

Climate change will move the median and the width of that distribution.

But folks in Florida are not living in tin shanties and cardboard boxes. They are mostly living in homes that were designed for 20th century Hurricanes with a safety factor. And the distribution of events from the 20th and 21st century storms are going to overlap a lot.

How much deep chit FL folks are in comes down to how much the right tail moves and how much safety factor was built in previously.

I'd be more worried about folks in NJ or New England getting a much bigger storm than they designed for (in old construction).

A wind turbine being designed in 2024? Pfft. That thing is going to be overengineered to current (30 year) climate projections with a safety factor. I'm not worried about them. I'm more worried about a 1970 house on Cape Cod.
 
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But folks in Florida are not living in tin shanties and cardboard boxes. They are mostly living in homes that were designed for 20th century Hurricanes with a safety factor. And the distribution of events from the 20th and 21st century storms are going to overlap a lot.
Some. There are an awful lot of manufactured homes in Florida too. And storms do strike twice in about the same location. My mom lived in Punta Gorda which is in the Pt. Charlotte area about an hour north of Ft. Myers. She had a new manufactured home in a retirement community there. The town (and her community) were hit bad by a hurricane Charley. Most of her community was destroyed. Over time it rebuilt, and then was wiped out again by Ian. Fortunately, mom moved out about 5 yrs. before Charley, but the losses there were tragic. These manufactured homes continue to be popular with retirees. A quick Look at a FL realtor's website just confirmed this.

Contrast this to the town of Babcock Ranch which was built with hurricanes in mind. It weathered the force of the Ian that wiped out Sanibel and clobbered Ft. Myers with little disruption. This is because they built it inland enough to avoid the storm surge, all utilities are underground, there is built-in flood protection, and its independent solar power infrastructure was designed for the high winds.
 
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Weather and the climate are complex. There are many factors involved, some which are not all that apparent until they disrupt our daily routines. This is an interesting phenomenon that is currently happening.