Climate control/An artificial " tornado" to supplant the real thing
The title should properly be: The Containment of Small Scale Intensive Meteorolgical Events - Tornados
A practical and theoretical research project into controlling tornados " twisters " by supplanting the real thing with an artificial tornado: Given that the natural weather event, the tornado, is a comparatively small scale but very intense meteorological system, then it may be feasible to induce the occurrence of a tornado using a machine - an impellor - to create a vortex where atmospheric conditions indicate the imminence of an actual tornado. Such a device would make the tornado happen that had previously been forecast. The impellor might resemble the first stage of the early design [Frank Whittle, British inventor and pioneer of jet engines, 1946] of the jet engine but without the second gas turbine stage. This would take air at ground level around the periphery and impart a rotation to the upward stream of air in the same rotational sense and upward speed as that of a natural tornado. The area around the machine would need to be clear of every obstruction within a radius of several meters, but could have spiral ridges converging on the vertical axis of the device but following the streamlines of the winds encircling an actual tornado. However, the location of the vortex tube would be fixed to that of the impellor. This would be an active device requiring at least an initial input of energy to drive the turbine or impellor to create a rotating mass of air that would be forced at very high speed in the upward direction. An electric induction motor would rotate the impellor until the energy of the tornado caused the induction motor to become a source of electrical power, generating electricity. The power for the electric motor would be generated in situ, and not rely on the public utility.
The success of such a machine would depend crucially on the creation of a point of minimum aerodynamic energy in the vicinity of the machine thereby constraining the tornado to the place where the machine was operating. and in a few hours or days the energy of the tornado would have harmlessly dissipated.
A passive device might also be feasible.
The active version of the device could have a dual function that of an air turbine producing electricity whenever the wind speed exceeded five meters per second up to a designed one hundred meters per second and whenever the atmospheric state indicated that a tornado was about to occur then this air turbine could be automatically reconfigured into a machine that would actively contain the tornado. Since remote control would be in use, no one would be put in the least danger.
The stages would be:
- Extension of mathematical models of tornados to include active inputs of energy.
- Running the mathematical models on a computer.
- Analysis of the results.
- Practical lab experiments.
- Building a prototype.
If the feasibility of such a machine is verifiable, then an area of several km radius could be protected from tornados permanently. However, if after the third stage the concept was seen to be unviable and totally impracticable then the research work could be salvaged, recorded and then abandoned.
At the outset, very tentative theoretical research would greatly minimize the use and identify at an early stage the likelihood of success of the undertaking.
The dimensions of either device would be of the same order as the diameter of the vortex of a natural tornado at ground level.
A real tornado in the proximity of such a device might become confined to the location of the device.
Laboratory scale vortices [vortexes] in suitable fluids would establish the optimum size and parameters of such devices but especially confirm the stability of the vortex with respect to position.
If such devices could be proved and perfected, then the destruction caused by tornados would become a footnote in history. It might also prove possible to steer a tornado to a certain place where it can be controlled, since the tornado is in more or less neutral equilibrium with respect to translational displacements along the ground.
One such machine or device could be placed at the vertex of an equilateral triangle of base measuring a few kilometers [Br. kilometres] in regions that are prone to frequent tornados. In this way, places having valuable agriculture or a relatively high population density could be protected. Having done the research, the control of tornados should be well within the capability of modern technologies but the cost of such devices would have to be relatively small compared to the economic loss caused by such events.
Almost needless to say, the theoretical and practical laboratory research work on the feasibility of such machines must always precede the use of serious money and resources.
The concept is to feed energy into the tornado amplifying the intensity of the encircling air stream around the tube so causing the tornado to stay in one place instead of wandering on a trail of destruction. This concept would need theoretical validation in the first instance.
A practical arrangement is a vertically mounted cylinder and around the periphery there are vertically set curved blades disposed at a suitable pitch co-axial with an inner cylinder having blades of complementary pitch, the two contra - rotating cylinders being connected by an epicyclic gear [explained in Wikipedia]. This would generate electricity most of the time. At times where a tornado was expected, the electricity generator would be supplied with electric power and drive the cylinders that would act as an impellor to impart continuous upward motion and circular movement to a mass of air.SHAWWPG19410425 17:16, 9 June 2011 (UTC)
The air turbine principle could be verified and then the efficiency estimated using a small plastic scale model turbine set in a wind tunnel. The total power would be proportional to the area of the outer cylinder presented to the wind. This is measured by the height of the cylinder times the diameter. A cylindrical turbine of large diameter in relation to the height is clearly much more stable. The direction from which the wind came is immaterial. It is the asymmetry of the blades around the cylinder that is expected to cause the cylinder to rotate. This would be proved experimentally on a scale model. The purpose of having a contra - rotation is to greatly improve the efficiency of the wind turbine function. One cylindrical rotor would be sufficient. The area as measured above of a final prototype could be similar to the area swept out by a conventional horizontally mounted wind turbine.
Such a dual purpose turbine could pay for itself and protect the property in the vicinity.SHAWWPG19410425 17:16, 9 June 2011 (UTC)