High winds are a risk that many different kinds of business need to be aware of. Unsafe wind speeds and gusts can cause many safety problems for certain sectors as well as major delays and unnecessary extra costs. The following are some of the types of companies that need to keep a close eye on the current wind speeds and expected wind patterns.
This is one of the industries where gusts of wind can play havoc at any given time. Part of the issue here is that a construction site may be filled with an ever-changing collection of objects of different heights, such as cranes, scaffolding and hoists.
This means that downdraught effects and funnelling can occur when the wind is deflected by these structures. As the site progresses, the risks change and the effect of strong winds vary. As a building climbs upwards, the effect that it has on the area surrounding it will change.
Another factor in the building industry is that delays due to adverse weather can have a huge knock-on effect in the cost and timescale of the project. Every day or week that is lost can prove to be extremely costly.
Being caught by surprise when a storm blows in is the worst situation, as it doesn’t give time to reallocate resources elsewhere and secure your lifting operations. On the other hand, if advance warning is provided then the impact of the storm can be managed far better.
This is why a wind monitoring device with an anemometer, like WINDCRANE is so important on these sites, showing detailed site and crane specific wind speed data and forecast. The bigger the construction site, the more devices that are needed, as wind conditions can vary dramatically over even a relatively small area. As the project progresses, they can then be moved to new positions as needed.
A massive amount of work goes into organising an outdoor event of any kind. The event itself may only last a few days, but the planning will start months before and if the weather conditions aren’t properly researched then it could lead to the whole thing being ruined or cancelled.
The safety of spectators and those taking part is of the utmost importance in any sort of outdoor gathering. If temporary structures such as tents and stages are being used then strong winds can lead to unsafe conditions. Any object that breaks free from its mooring can turn into a hazard if the wind whips it through the air at high speed.
The potential consequences are even worse if there are fireworks, aerial shows or other features of this nature involved.
In this industry, monitoring the wind accurately can also help to avoid the risk of cancelling an event when it isn’t necessary. If a lot of temporary structures have been erected over a large area, it will be impossible to predict the path and strength of the wind in key areas without the proper equipment. Having access to live wind data will also help the outdoor event run smoothly without any unknown delays or accidents caused from weather.
Researchers need to piece together many different elements to reach their final conclusions. In many projects, the wind speed is one of the issues that have to be taken into account.
This can be as part of an overall look at the climate and living conditions of an area. Wind speed and direction of wind gusts in the area will have a direct impact on the conditions. Or it could be a way of understanding how the inhabitants, plants and wildlife have evolved over the years to cope with the weather that they get.
The researchers may also be looking to understand whether a certain place is suitable for wind power technology, for human settlement or for other types of construction. After all, strong winds have played a part in some towns and villages being abandoned over the centuries.
In this way, wind speeds and patterns often turn out to be a key piece in putting together a piece of academic research that solves a certain issue or helps up to understand a subject better.
The WINDCRANE technology includes a wind monitoring device, anemometer as well as other additional accessories to monitor weather, keeping in mind the challenges faced in research projects. It is tough, durable and weatherproof and can be used under very demanding environments like the Antarctica or Atakama desert. A research project was done in the Himalayas using WINDCRANE systems to discover how the local wildlife - such as yaks and snow leopards – are able to cope with the brutal weather conditions.
Powerful winds also need to be factored into air travel. Airline pilots tend to prefer to take off and land into the wind, and most airports have runways in different directions to help them to do this. Once crosswinds reach over 30mph, a decision has to be made on whether take-off and landing can be allowed.
When in the air, a tailwind can help them to reach their destination airport more quickly, and use less fuel on the journey. While winds aren’t generally a problem once a plane is travelling, the sudden arrival of strong gusts of wind can be an issue.
The biggest potential problem for pilots is wind shear, which is when there is a sudden change in its direction that can force the plane off course.
Another area where this is even more important is in air racing, air show displays, drone racing and even hot air ballooning. The organisers need to know exactly what the weather conditions are going to be like. Any unexpected series of gusts in the middle of a tricky manoeuvre could lead to disaster. Modern technology now makes it easier to get accurate, live information at any time that you need it. The WINDCRANE app provides a real-time view of wind and warnings with notifications when the weather becomes dangerous.
It can be difficult to measure the wind conditions affecting offshore oil rigs. These platforms often contain large cranes, drilling rigs or other pieces of equipment that could be damaged if strong winds hit without warning.
Helicopter pilots who land and take off here also need to know what to expect. If the pilot is blown off course or has to turn around without landing, it can be dangerous as well as being a poor use of resources and highly frustrating.
This has traditionally been a difficult issue for companies to deal with. Older anemometers struggle to cope with this volatile and complex environment. However, modern digital devices allow for a far greater level of control in this respect.
A wide variety of different types of sea-going vessels can be adversely affected by the wind. This is why ports, terminals and shipping companies always keep a close eye on what to expect.
They need accurate, timely alerts that help them to make important decisions. Should all traffic be suspended due to the conditions, or is it safe to carry on? With up to 90% of all global trade using marine shipping, this is an industry where the decision to close a port needs to be based on scientific data.
Wind speed can affect wave height and swell. In fact, it is estimated that around 30% of all shipping accidents around the world are caused by poor weather conditions. Smaller craft such as fishing boats can be even more badly affected by inaccurate weather data.
These masts and towers are now a vital part of modern life. Any damage to them, or interruption to their activities, would lead to major problems for businesses and individuals in the area.
The height and the type of tower used (monopole or self-supporting tower) in a specific location should be based in part upon the wind conditions that it will be subjected to. Self-supporting towers are recommended for withstanding higher gusts.
Another important issue here is that maintenance workers may need to climb the tower from time to time. High wind speeds can make this an extremely dangerous task, so there needs to be a precise and reliable way of measuring the wind conditions at the height they need to reach.
These parks can create unique, unpredictable wind patterns. The presence of several tall structures of varying shapes and sizes in relatively close proximity means that any powerful gusts of wind could have dangerous consequences.
Naturally, the safety of passengers is the most crucial factor in each ride. The most common causes of amusement park accidents are mechanical failure and improper use.
In terms of wind, the dangers are more obvious when there is a tall ride such as a giant wheel. However, it is worth bearing in mind that gusts could lead to damage in a number of other ways, such as by causing loose objects to fly through the air. Operating this equipment brings clear financial and personal responsibility and monitoring any potential wind risks are essential for a safer environment.
Mining is another industry in which safety is one of the primary concerns that can’t be overlooked. There are numerous factors that can lead to disasters here, from poisonous gas leaks to uncontrolled explosions or collapsing tunnels.
The wind can be a danger in terms of damaging or moving cranes, vehicles or other equipment on the surface. Each different sector of the mining industry will have different risks, based on the equipment used.
Many mines are also located in remote locations, where tough, durable weather reading tools are needed. They also need to be flexible, as they may have to be moved as work progresses and the site conditions change.
Wind farms have been popping up all over the Earth in recent years, as this method of generating cheap, clean energy has gained popularity. The biggest in the world right now is the Gansu Wind Farm in China, where the target is for a capacity of 20,000 MW.
Choosing the right location is vital in this industry. The main elements to take into account include the environmental impact and ease of access for maintenance purposes. Generally, it is considered that on top of a hill near the coast is best for achieving consistently high wind speeds.
To be sure that a location is right, engineers will accurately monitor the conditions for at least a year, using precise anemometers and wind monitoring devices. After this period, they can see whether a wind farm is viable there.
We have seen how the impact of strong winds can affect several different types of business and how WINDCRANE can fit multiple applications to monitor live wind risks safely, increase production time and forecast potential wind risks in projects. This gives the businesses a solution to better understand what the current wind conditions are and what to expect in the future, so that it can be dealt with in the best way possible.