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Wind energy refers to the process of creating electricity using the wind or air flows that occur naturally in the earth’s atmosphere. Modern wind turbines are used to capture kinetic energy from the wind and generate electricity.
See the fact file below for more information on the wind energy or alternatively, you can download our 19-page Wind Energy worksheet pack to utilise within the classroom or home environment.
Key Facts & Information
- The first windmill used for the production of electric power was built in Scotland in July 1887 by Prof James Blyth of Anderson’s College, Glasgow. Blyth’s 10 metre (33 ft.) high, cloth-sailed wind turbine was installed in the garden of his holiday cottage at Marykirk in Kincardineshire, and was used to charge accumulators to power the lighting in the cottage.
- Charles F. Brush designed and constructed a larger and heavily engineered machine between 1887-1888 in Cleveland, Ohio. The Brush wind turbine had a rotor that was 17 metres (56 ft.) in diameter and was mounted on an 18 metre (59 ft.) tall tower.
- With the development of electric power, wind power found new applications in lighting buildings remote from centrally-generated power.
- Throughout the 20th century, parallel paths developed small wind stations suitable for farms or residences.
- Today, wind powered generators operate in every size range, starting from tiny stations for battery charging at isolated residences to massive turbines to power the grid.
- There are three main types of wind energy.
TYPES OF WIND ENERGY
- Utility-scale wind: Wind turbines that range in size from 100 kilowatts to several megawatts, where the electricity is delivered to the power grid and distributed to the end user by electric utilities or power system operators.
- Distributed or “small” wind: Single small wind turbines below 100 kilowatts that are used to directly power a home, farm, or small business and is not connected to the grid.
- Offshore wind: Wind turbines that are erected in large bodies of water, usually on the continental shelf. Offshore wind turbines are larger than land-based turbines and can generate more power.
- A wind farm is a group of wind turbines in the same location used for production of electric power. A large wind farm may consist of several hundred individual wind turbines distributed over an extended area, but the land between the turbines may be used for agriculture or other purposes. For example, Gansu Wind Farm, the largest wind farm in the world, has several thousand turbines. A wind farm may also be located offshore.
- In a wind farm, individual turbines are interconnected with a medium voltage (often 34.5 kV), power collection system, and communications network. In general, a distance of 7D (7 × Rotor Diameter of the Wind Turbine) is set between each turbine in a fully developed wind farm.
- When the wind blows past a wind turbine, its blades capture the wind’s kinetic energy and rotate, turning it into mechanical energy. This rotation turns an internal shaft connected to a gearbox, which increases the speed of rotation by a factor of 100. That spins a generator that produces electricity.
- Typically standing at least 80 meters (262 feet) tall, tubular steel towers support a hub with three attached blades and a “nacelle,” which houses the shaft, gearbox, generator, and controls. Wind measurements are collected, which direct the turbine to rotate and face the strongest wind, and the angle or “pitch” of its blades is optimized to capture energy.
- A typical modern turbine will start to generate electricity when wind speeds reach six to nine miles per hour (mph), known as the cut-in speed. Turbines will shut down if the wind is blowing too hard to prevent equipment damage.
WINDMILL AND WIND TURBINES
- Sometimes people use the terms “windmill” and “wind turbine” interchangeably, but there are important differences between these two. People have been using windmills for centuries to grind grain, pump water, and do other work. Windmills generate mechanical energy, but they do not generate electricity.
- In contrast, modern wind turbines are highly evolved machines with more than 8,000 parts that harness the wind’s kinetic energy and convert it into electricity.
HOW WIND ENERGY GETS TO YOU
- The turbines in a wind farm are connected so the electricity they generate can travel from the wind farm to the power grid. Once wind energy is on the main power grid, electric utilities or power operators will send the electricity to where people need it.
- Smaller transmission lines, called distribution lines, collect electricity generated at the wind project and transport it to larger “network” transmission lines, where the electricity can travel across long distances to the locations where it is needed.
Wind Energy Worksheets
This is a fantastic bundle which includes everything you need to know about wind energy across 19 in-depth pages. These are ready-to-use Wind Energy worksheets that are perfect for teaching students about the wind energy which refers to the process of creating electricity using the wind or air flows that occur naturally in the earth’s atmosphere. Modern wind turbines are used to capture kinetic energy from the wind and generate electricity.
Complete List Of Included Worksheets
- Wind Energy Facts
- Hourglass Timeline
- Five More
- Words to Know
- Check Cross
- Label Me
- The Cycle
- Windy Types
- Let’s Renew
- Mill and Turbine
- Wind Power
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Link will appear as Wind Energy Facts & Worksheets: https://kidskonnect.com - KidsKonnect, August 30, 2019
Use With Any Curriculum
These worksheets have been specifically designed for use with any international curriculum. You can use these worksheets as-is, or edit them using Google Slides to make them more specific to your own student ability levels and curriculum standards.