Friday, September 15, 2017

Poop Storms

Image result for contaminated water houston images
After the worst of the wind and rain had died down from Hurricanes Harvey and Irma, and people began making their way back home, it became apparent that citizens of Texas and Florida would have more worries.  Some wastewater treatment systems were reportedly running backward in Florida.  In one Orlando neighborhood flooding caused a filter system to overflow and over 10,000 gallons of partly treated effluent bubbled up through manhole covers.  Houston experienced an outbreak of E.Coli, a type of bacteria typically found in human waste.  The Houston Health Department reported that in some flooded homes E.Coli contamination was as high as 135 times the level considered safe.
In other words, Hurricanes Harvey and Irma were truly ‘poop storms’ that left home owners and business scrambling for ways to keep out nasty water.

Tuesday, September 12, 2017

Cleaning Up After Unwelcome Guests

After the worst of the wind and rain had died down from Hurricanes Harvey and Irma, and people began making their way back home, it became apparent that citizens of Texas and Florida would have more worries.  Following are a few examples of the worst messes left behind by the unwelcome guests.

Friday, September 08, 2017

Competition at High Altitude

The last post “It’s A Bird, It’s A Plane” mentioned possible problems that may be preventing Makani Power from successfully deploying its airborne wind turbine that is tethered like a kite to a ground station. The ‘wind power kite’ is intended to get past the conundrum faced by wind power developers of needed ever larger towers and rotors needed to boost output.  Unfortunately, Makani has struggled to deploy its kite and may get beat by another developer to the claim of being the first airborne wind system. 

Tuesday, September 05, 2017

It's A Bird, It's A Plane

No! It’s an airborne wind turbine.  Makani Power has developed airborne wind turbines that are tethered like a kite to a ground station. In fact, Makani’s turbine looks very much like a kite with four rotors across its span.   
Makani is attempting to resolve the wind power conundrum.  To gain efficiency wind towers must be built taller and rotors be wider.  It means wind developers must amass a lot of steel and deploy heavier installation equipment to capture more energy from the wind.  Makani’s alternative kite design is made from light weight aluminum alloys.  The company’s engineers believe its 11,000-kilogram kite (12.1 short tons) can deliver as much as 600 kilowatts of power.  This compares to a conventional wind tower that requires 135,000 kilograms (148.8 short tons) of steel to deliver about 750 kilowatts of power.