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What is Wind Power?

Wind is caused by huge convection currents in the Earth's atmosphere, driven by heat energy from the Sun.
How do winds form?

This can be explained in simple terms by the daily wind cycle. The earth's surface has both land and water. When the sun comes up, the air over the land heats up quicker than that over water. The heated air is lighter and it rises. The cooler air is denser and it falls and replaced the air over the land. In the night the reverse happens. Air over the water is warmer and rises, and is replaced by cooler air from land. The moving air (wind) has huge amounts of kinetic energy, and this can be transferred into electrical energy using wind turbines. The wind turns the blades, which spin a shaft, which connects to a generator and makes electricity. The electricity is sent through transmission and distribution lines to a substation, then on to homes, business and schools. Wind turbines cannot work if there is no wind, or if the wind speed is so high it would damage them. Wind turbines are usually sited on high hills and mountain ridges to take advantage of the prevailing winds. Just like a windmill, wind energy turbines have been around for over 1000 years. From old Holland to farms in the United States, windmills have been used for pumping water or grinding grain. Did you know... - The largest wind turbine in the world, located in Hawaii, stands 20 stories tall and has blades the length of a football field. - An average wind speed of 14 miles per hour is needed to convert wind energy into electricity. - One wind turbine can produce enough electricity to power up to 300 homes. - The first power-generating turbine was constructed Ohio during the late 1800's and was used to charge batteries. in

- Wind energy is the fastest growing segment of all renewable energy sources.

Geothermal In some places the rocks underground are hot. Deep wells can be drilled and cold water pumped down. The water runs through fractures in the rocks and is heated up. It returns to the surface as hot water and steam, where its' energy can be used to drive turbines and electricity generators. Geothermal energy is called a renewable energy source because the water is replenished by rainfall, and the heat is continuously produced by the earth. What is Biomass Biomass fuels come from things that once lived: wood products, dried vegetation, crop residues, aquatic plants and even garbage. It is known as 'Natural Material'. Plants used up a lot of the sun's energy to make their own food ( photosysnthesis). They stored the foods in the plants in the form of chemical energy. As the plants died, the energy is trapped in the residue. This trapped energy is usually released by burning and can be converted into biomass energy. Wood is a biomass fuel. It is renewable. As long as we continue to plant new trees to replace those cut down, we will always have wood to burn. Just as with the fossil fuels, the energy stored in biomass fuels came originally from the Sun. It is such a widely utilized source of energy, probably due to its low cost and indigenous nature, that it accounts for almost 15% of the world's total energy supply and as much as 35% in developing countries, mostly for cooking and heating. How is biomass converted into energy? Burning: This is a very common way of converting organic matter into energy. Burning stuff like wood, waste and other plant matter releases stored chemical energy in the form of heat, which can be used to turn shafts to produce electricity. Let's see this simple illustration of how biomass is used to generate electricity. 1. Energy from the sun is transferred and stored in plants. When the plants are cut or die, wood chips, straw and other plant matter is delivered to the bunker 2. This is burned to heat water in a boiler to release heat energy (steam).

3. The energy/power from the steam is directed to turbines with pipes 4. The steam turns a number of blades in the turbine and generators, which are made of coils and magnets. 5. The charged magnetic fields produce electricity, which is sent to homes by cables. Other ways in which organic matter can be converted into energy include: Decomposition: Things that can rot, like garbage, human and animal waste, dead animals and the like can be left to rot, releasing a gas called biogas (also known as methane gas or landfill gas). Methane can be captured by a machine called Microturbine and converted into electricity. sometimes, animal waste (poop) can also be converted into methane by a machine called 'Anaerobic Digester' Fermentation: Ethanol can be produced from crops with lots if sugars, like corn and sugarcane. The process used to produce ethanol is called gasification.