An excellent idea. Anyone want to do the maths?

From Gamecock:

From “the Left’s shi+ don’t stink department,”
we are to accept the din of wind turbines, but not the hardly perceptible alleged earthquakes from fracking.

Noise is energy. An earthquake is energy. All we need now is an earthquake of 0.5 on the Richter in the form of noise. Preferably, in the form of distance from a wind turbine.

So, a 0.5 quake is like being x metres from a wind turbine in air speed of y. Or summat like that. And also, perhaps, being x metres from a solar panel falling off a roof.

That would take me weeks to work out but some of you guys are clever.

9 thoughts on “An excellent idea. Anyone want to do the maths?”

  1. Well, I’m not going to do the sums(question of competence), but I would note that the nose from the turbine is constant (while the wind’s blowing), while the tremblements de terre are intermittent.

    So there’s another order of magnitude or three to account for in favour of fracking being undetectable mostly.

  2. I am by no means competent to do this either. But I could make a ballpark estimate, maybe.

    The Richter scale defines 3 to be a 1 micrometre amplitude displacement at 100 km range. As it uses a base 10 logarithmic scale, this means Richter magnitude 0 is 1 nanometre, and magnitude 0.5 would therefore be about 3.2 nanometres (as experienced at 100 km from the epicentre).

    There’s a report here that sets a limit on how close they’ll let wind farms be built to the Eskdalemuir seismic array used for monitoring the nuclear test ban. They set a limit of 0.336 nanometres at their site, which is about 10 times smaller than that magnitude 0.5. They conclude that no wind farms can be built within 10 km, and they recommend that they should not be used at full power within 25 km.

    The way amplitude decays with range is complicated and depends on local geology and wave polarisation, but at shorter ranges the Lillie formula uses a distance exponent of 1.6, so the amplitude reduces about 10-fold when the distance reduces 10^1.6 = 40-fold.

    So my guess would be that it would exceed Richter magnitude 0.5 (as experienced 100 km from the epicentre) within 0.25 – 0.65 km of the wind farm.

    If you want to reproduce the experience of a 0.5 magnitude earthquake from rather closer to the source (as I suspect the people setting this standard are assuming), the range shrinks drastically. Really, Richter magnitude is the wrong unit to be using for a standard of this sort, as it doesn’t vary with range.

    But I’m not sure. It looks to me like the proper calculation would be a lot more complicated.

  3. Solar panel falling off a roof is much easier than the wind turbine.

    A 250W solar panel masses 40kg, source: amazon.
    Mounted on a pitched roof on top of a 2-storey house, the centre of mass will be ~6m above ground level.
    Gravitational potential energy = m.g.h = 40 x 9.8 x 6 = 2400J to the kind of accuracy we’re talking here, or 1/100 of a LM0.4 quake.

    Now, dispersal of energy goes with the inverse square of distance (surface of a sphere). So if the epicentre of the quake is 1000m down and the solar panel falling off the roof is at ground level 100m away then they will feel* the same.

    *feel as in have an emotional reaction when looking at your seismograph

  4. The energy from Wind turbines can be heard and cause discomfort, tremors from fracking not, the former being above ground and the energy transmitted by the air, the latter being underground and the energy absorbed by the terrain.

    No bats, birds, insects are killed by tremors from fracking.

  5. This seems to be unnecessarily complicated.

    We could just point out that fracking induced earthquakes can be avoided by paying a geologist to qualify waste injection well sites. The cost of doing so industry wide is on the order of a few million per year.

    Alternatively we could spend American billions(millards over there) soundproofing structures near windmill. We also need to account for the cost of energy needed to run heating and cooling systems on the nice-ish days where we used to open the windows. Better make that British billions(trillions here) to be sure.

    My preference would be to spend the millions on geologists, freeing up the billions or billions to be spent on something else. One idea utilizes the fact that noise is actually wasted energy. Figuring out how to make wind turbines that don’t waste as much energy making noise is something every chopped-down-to-clear-land-for-windmills-tree hugging liberal who is actually liberal can support.

  6. @LY
    The UK follows US usage in billions, trillions etc, it’s another area where we differ from continental Europeans (#sayitaintso) who retain the milliard, which was still in use in the UK until the early 60s.

  7. If you hadn’t noticed, I am a linguistic conservative.

    Besides, the only Continental media I frequent is the Telegraph and I haven’t gotten around to creating an account. Few Americans would have any clue what I meant, so the billions or billions line ended up here.

    The real question on my mind is whether chopped-down-to-clear-land-for-windmills tree huggers is 1% as clever as I thought is was at the time.

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