Researchers at the Florida International University have been testing several designs and building materials against the strength of hurricane winds. The various tests have thus resulted in adopting safer options in Florida, such as protecting rooftops and making changes in the state’s building code, etc.
Regarded as the world’s largest and the most powerful hurricane stimulator- ‘The Wall of Wind’ is designed and developed at the Florida International University. The machine is capable of simulating category five hurricanes.
Research Facility and Meteorologist, Erik Salna explains how the stimulator works, in addition to what hurricane-strength winds can do to the built environment, to homes, hospitals, businesses, and schools, among others.
The machine is made of 12 huge fans. These can pump more air than 7,650 leaf blowers. The experts have also brought water to the system, because flooding rains along with a hurricane is a common phenomenon. By turning on the water hoses, the machine ingests the equivalent of nine inches, which is 23 cm per hour, corresponding to the hurricane strength.
The project has helped in reforming Florida’s building code, in addition to preparing the city during the occurrence of a hurricane. New ways are incorporated to protect rooftops. Reports suggest, the studies have carried out tests to study the strong impact of the hurricanes on houses.
During the tests, the roofs have blown up, this thus hints on the strong forces of the machine, creating tests for up to category five of hurricane winds.