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Researchers seek new ways to test against stronger hurricanes

MIAMI, Fla. – These are the final preparations before releasing the force of the wind.

Welcome The wall of the wind.

“Twelve fans, 720 horses each. Each weighs about 15,000 pounds,” said Erik Salna, director of education and outreach at the Extreme Events Institute at Florida International University. “The wind wall is an amazing installation.”

located in Hurricane Research Center, Florida International Universityits researchers use huge fans to test structures and products to see how hurricane-force winds affect them.

“Of course, you couldn’t shop around to find that in your home improvement store. So they found a Colorado company that manufactures these fans. Not for research, but their application is for underground mining operations, for air ventilation. And movement,” Salna said. , and “and it worked.”

Fans can regain a wind speed of up to 160 miles per hour, the same as a Category 5 hurricane.

Ten years after it was built, however, researchers have noticed that more storms are exceeding that speed.

“It can cause tremendous damage and impact in a community,” said Amal Elawady, an assistant professor at FIU and part of the Hurricane Research Center.

that’s why FIU and eight other universities are teaming up to strengthen the Wind Wall, so it can recreate even higher wind speeds, reaching 200 miles per hour.

Don’t call it “Category 6”.

“We use a wind scale that goes from five to five on a wind scale – Category 5. And right now, there’s no intention of going to Category 6,” Salna said. “But when we look at climate change issues and extreme events, and what that means for hurricane seasons, there’s a better chance of more severe storms.”

This would require stronger structures and building codes for places like homes, hospitals and schools where they find any type of storm wind.

“Design codes and standards are limited. We still see flaws,” Elawady said. “We need to understand the reasons for the failure. We need to protect people’s lives.”

That way, people anywhere can be safer, no matter where the wind blows.

“Lessons learned about how to harden and strengthen the structure can lead to extreme wind events across the country,” Salna said.

In addition to creating stronger winds, the future plans for a more powerful Wall of Wind facility will also include a huge pool that will be used to simulate storm-induced flooding and inland flooding.

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Researchers seek new ways to test against stronger hurricanes Source link Researchers seek new ways to test against stronger hurricanes

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