SCIENCE -- September 7, 2012 at 12:20 PM EDT
Hurricane Winds Blast Solar Panels and Roof Tiles...On Purpose
At Florida International University, 12 giant fans mimic the intensity of a Category 5 hurricane, pummeling rooftops, building materials and solar panels with winds reaching 157 miles per hour.
A team of researchers led by civil engineer Arindam Gan Chowdhury have designed this 15-foot-tall "Wall of Wind" to simulate full-blown hurricanes. With it, they can test construction materials to determine their ability to withstand hurricane winds.
Watch them turn windspeeds up to 122 mph. The adhesive foam is rock solid, but the building itself? Just watch.
Miles O'Brien reports for the National Science Foundation's* Science Nation.
*For the record, the National Science Foundation is an underwriter of the NewsHour.