September 7, 2012
Manmade “Wall of Wind” Creates Hurricane Force Winds
A Category 5 hurricane is a monster of a storm that most people would want to avoid. But, Civil Engineer Arindam Chowdhury actually recreates those monster hurricane force winds in hopes of helping us better prepare for the real thing. With support from the National Science Foundation, Chowdhury and his team at Florida International University (FIU) and the International Hurricane Research Center designed a 15 foot tall “Wall of Wind,” aptly nicknamed WOW. The wall is made up of 12 giant fans, which can create the intensity of a Category 5 hurricane with 157 mile-an-hour winds if they are running at full blast. The goal is to see if low rise structures and building materials can withstand the same wind forces they would face in a full-blown hurricane.