Never mind why there's a perpetual hurricane. This is about extracting power from it.

Let's say that there's a perpetual hurricane that constantly "hovers" in one location - say, over northern Africa, if that's relevant to the question. It's been there for 2 million years, if that's relevant either. It doesn't have an eye, if that's relevant either. Yes, I know it's not a normal hurricane. No, that does not matter.

Now, take into account the following conditions:

  • Flying vegetation, rock chunks, sand, etc. - if it can be blown, it's flying around in there, and statistically speaking it'll hit something eventually. Sure, most of it was stripped away during the first few thousand years of the hurricane, but occasionally the hurricane pulls some vegetation out of the swamp region, or desert winds funnel sand into the low-pressure region it occupies, or it chips off a chunk of rock, or someone looses a glove, etc.

  • Constant wind that ranges from "breeze" (outlying areas) up to 250 kilometers per hour (core). It always blows counterclockwise, if that's relevant.

  • Visibility that rapidly decreases the closer to the core you go.

  • 100% humidity, all the time, every time, unless you're in the outlying regions and not the hurricane itself.

  • High air temperature.

  • Potential tornados embedded in the hurricane.

  • Constant, constant, constant torrential rainfall; even the outlying swamps see rain on a daily basis.

With all of the above taken into consideration, how would one alter a modern wind turbine in order to function in this environment for the purpose of providing electrical power?


1 Answer 1


Surprisingly little!

There have been designs for vertical cylindrical wind turbines for a long time but they aren't as popular as pinwheel designs because they hit peak efficiency at relatively high wind speeds. They are more popular in southeast Asia for the specific purpose of harvesting wind energy during tropical storms.

To your point, the turbine would merely need to be that much more robust, and likely need a way to lock down and even retract when the winds are especially violent or there is heavy debris in the air. The cylindrical design makes the retraction relatively simple.


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