Wind Farms A field trip explaining the background story

The Basics:

1ST STEP

When you first think of a wind farm, you think of wind and for this field trip to work you will have to understand, wind.

Wind allows this whole process to work. The process of wind is fairly easy to understand:

  • The Sun heats up Earth.
  • The heat then warms the air next to the ground. Which then causes:
  • The molecules to move more quickly and spread out, thus making them rise.
  • When the air cools the molecules slow down (they become dense) and they will sink to the ground.
  • This process is called Convection.

2nd step

Finding a location

Using our understanding of how convection works we can use that to find the perfect location for the wind farm.

When companies are looking to place wind farms they are looking for:

  1. An average wind speed of 11-12 miles an hour. So choosing a location that has a good average and not a crazy average. A turbine will be equipped with a set speed that it will automatically shut off at.

2. Typically they are looking to place farms away from the city so that there is a nice open space for the wind to flow, not obstructed by buildings.

3. The companies will considered a location better fit if it has little to non conflicts with wildlife. Such as, migratory birds.

If the location is a good fit the company will:

  • Host meetings with the community to educate them
  • Engineers will test out the location to see if the location is a perfect location
  • Lastly, they will make sure the location has enough transmission lines to send out the power that is being produced.

How will the turbine work?

In this next step of the field trip we will see how the turbine is built, how it makes use of the wind.

Catching the wind is no easy task. The blades of the turbine are specially made to capture the wind and make energy.

  • The blade has a curved surface to spilt the wind. As you'll see in the short video clip.

Now that you've heard the basics of the turbine...

You can now use this interactive Energy 101: Wind Turbines link to see the insides of the turbine.

Now that you can see that a lot of important mechanics lies behind the wind turbine. The next step is constructing the farm.

SIZES OF THE TURBINES

Sizes are the turbines are very different depending on the amount of energy you would like to make.

AS YOU CAN SEE THE SIZES WILL VARY!

LAST STEP:SENDING ELECTRICITY

Using the process as you've seen above the wind farms will send the energy to local towns and provide them with the new electricity.

Using transformers to give us the energy is how the renewable energy from turbines is such an effective way to make energy.

THANKS FOR COMING ON THIS FIELDTRIP

Credits:

Created with images by Boke9a - "nature vision wind turbines" • Dr. Tarak N Khan - "Lesser Whistling Duck" • tuey - "LM Glasfiber workers, Grand Forks, N.D. 4" • lydia_shiningbrightly - "Electricity pylon - close up"

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