Posts Tagged ‘Weatherwatch’

Weatherwatch: how to maximise the power from mighty blades

Engineers are working on turbine blades that automatically adjust to high wind pressure and will stand up to strong winds and turbulent gusts Wind turbine blades are getting ever larger and producing more power, but fluctuations in wind speed mean they are not always efficient. Blades can now be 85m long (and will be longer […]

Weatherwatch: floating windfarms prove their worth

Potential for floating windfarms is huge, as many countries have windy sites close to shore Floating windfarms are likely to be the next large-scale development in renewable energy. The first Hywind Scotland, developed by the Norwegian state oil giant, Statoil, has proved a greater success than its designers hoped. The five giant six-megawatt turbines, 25 […]

Weatherwatch: extending life of turbine blades is next challenge for wind power

Researchers are investigating materials that are resistant to the extreme climate conditions Onshore wind turbines have become the cheapest form of generating electricity in the UK – and many other windy parts of the world. This is partly because the design of blades to make maximum use of available wind has improved along with the […]

Weatherwatch: can we keep the lights on when the wind fails to blow?

The UK now has more offshore wind power capacity than any other country – but we need a plan B for ultra-cold winters with soaring energy demands Last year was one of the greenest for power in the UK. Nearly one-third of all electricity came from renewable sources, and wind and solar provided more power […]

Weatherwatch: vortex ‘streets’ that can flatten power stations

Kármán found that air flowing around an obstacle broke away into distinct whirlwinds – causing wires to sing or towers to wobble A Kármán vortex street is a series of whirlwinds produced by a cylindrical object, such as a tower, in the wind. The stream of miniature tornadoes travels downwind of the obstacle at regular […]

Weatherwatch: The future is kite powered

Wind turbines are controversial. They are accused of being blots on the landscape, expensive to run and need good winds to work. But the critics could be silenced with a totally new way of generating wind power – using kites. This is a serious proposition. Power-generating kites are far more sophisticated than toy kites, and […]

Weatherwatch: Sleek building design where the wind slips past

Leeds city council plans to spend £245,000 trying to dampen down violent winds that race through the streets surrounding Bridgewater Place, the city’s tallest building standing 367ft (112m) high. People have been blown over on the nearby roads, and in the most serious incident a lorry was toppled over as winds whipped around the building. […]

Weatherwatch: Wind turbines impact on balance and distribution of species

A stroll through a wind farm may be a breezy experience. Now it turns out that extra drafts, created by swishing turbine blades, can change the weather. As well as extracting energy from the wind, wind turbines swoosh air around. Fernando Portée-Agel, from the École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne in Switzerland, and colleagues, investigated the […]

Weatherwatch: Wind turbines may be opposed but windmills are attractions

There are still many windmills in the British countryside, and they are seen as attractions, while wind turbines are frequently vehemently opposed. In the 18th and 19th century when there were thousands more windmills they were also controversial, built by entrepreneurs cashing in on the high price of corn and flour. Most towns had three […]