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A wind turbine is a device with a horizontal and vertical axis that converts wind kinetic energy into useful electrical energy. As of 2009, around 80 countries use wind power from windmills, wind pumps, and wind turbines to generate electricity commercially.
See the fact file below for more information on the wind turbine or alternatively, you can download our 25-page Wind Turbine worksheet pack to utilise within the classroom or home environment.
Key Facts & Information
HISTORY OF WIND POWER
- From about 500 to 900 A.D., wind power was likely used in ancient Persia (modern-day Iran). One of the first recorded uses of wind powering machines was the windwheel of Hero of Alexandria.
- As early as 5000 B.C., boats along the Nile River were propelled by wind energy, while simple windmills were used in China to pump water in 200 B.C.
- By the 11th century, windmills were utilized by people in the Middle East for food production.
- Through trading, the use of wind power was brought to Europe during the Middle Ages. The Dutch were the first to use the windmill for draining lakes and marshes in the Rhine River Delta.
- In the late 19th century, this simple technology was brought to the New World and used to pump water to farms, grind wheat and cut wood. By the 20th century, widespread use of small wind plants for electricity for both farms and residences developed.
- In the 1940s, at the height of World War II, a 1.25-megawatt wind turbine known as Grandpa’s Knob was built on a Vermont hilltop. After a decade, wind-electric turbines proliferated in Denmark but suddenly became underdeveloped due to the existence of cheap oil energy.
- In the 1970s, oil shortages hit the United States. This event gave rise to the re-entry of cheaper alternative sources of energy including wind turbines. In the mid-1980s, the U.S. government developed large commercial wind turbines. The massive research on wind turbines was overseen by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA).
- In California, wind energy flourished due to federal and state tax incentives for using renewable energy sources.
- In the late 1980s, the popularity of wind energy in the U.S. diminished after the tax incentive ended. It continued to grow in Europe, however, in response to the threat of global climate as a result of the relentless use of fossil fuels.
- Wind turbines are normally built on a tower to better capture energy from the wind. A simple wind turbine consists of three main parts: Blades, a shaft and a generator.
- A wind turbine normally has three blades. These blades act as barriers to the wind. The blades move with wind force and energy is transferred to the rotor.
- The rotor is connected to the shaft, which spins the generator to create electricity.
- When the rotor spins, the shaft also spins and transfers the mechanical energy into rotational energy.
- Using the difference in electrical charge, a generator produces a change. The electrical pressure drives the current through power lines for distribution and consumption.
- The blades of a wind turbine are designed like an airplane’s wings.
- According to experts in aerodynamics, any number of blades greater than three would create greater wind resistance, while two-bladed wind turbines are more prone to wobbling.
WIND TURBINES AROUND THE WORLD
- Aside from solar energy, wind energy powered by turbines is one of the growing sources of renewable energy. As of 2012, over 225,000 wind turbines are spinning in many parts of the world.
- In 2012, 30% of Denmark’s electricity was from wind energy. Their government seeks to attain 50% by 2020, and 100% by 2050.
- In the United States, more than 11 million homes are powered by wind farms, which also provide jobs for almost 75 000 Americans in the manufacturing, construction, and operational industries.
- Among the world’s most impressive wind turbines are the following:
- The Alta Wind Energy Center in Kern County, California, which is the largest wind facility in the United States.
- The Gansu Wind Farm, also known as the Jiuquan Wind Power Base, located in the Gansu province, China, which is still under construction. When completed, it will be the world’s largest collective wind farm.
- The London Array in the U.K. is now the world’s biggest offshore wind farm.
- India’s largest operational wind project, Jaisalmer Wind Park, surpassed 1,000 MW of installed wind capacity.
PROS AND CONS OF WIND ENERGY
- Energy from the wind does not cause pollution and is renewable.
- The potential of wind energy can supply twenty times that of human demand.
- Aside from being cost-efficient, residential wind turbines protect homeowners from electricity outages.
- On the other hand, wind energy fluctuates unless a form of energy storage is also used.
- Wind turbines can be a threat to birds and bats.
- Lastly, it creates unnecessary noise in the neighborhood.
Wind Turbine Worksheets
This is a fantastic bundle which includes everything you need to know about wind turbine across 25 in-depth pages. These are ready-to-use Wind Turbine worksheets that are perfect for teaching students about the wind turbine which is a device with a horizontal and vertical axis that converts wind kinetic energy into useful electrical energy. As of 2009, around 80 countries use wind power from windmills, wind pumps, and wind turbines to generate electricity commercially.
Complete List Of Included Worksheets
- Wind Turbine Facts
- Let the Wind Blow
- Blow Wind, Blow
- Alternative Energy
- Exploring Wind
- Wind Farms
- Wind to Electricity
- The Power of Wind
- Mill vs. Turbine
- Windy Pros and Cons
- Power Countries
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Link will appear as Wind Turbine Facts & Worksheets: https://kidskonnect.com - KidsKonnect, September 6, 2018
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.