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By Debra West. By Ivan Penn. By Brad Plumer and Tim Peacock. By Brad Plumer.

By Joseph Goldstein. Show More. In our society we mostly use energy in the form of electricity, so modern wind turbines are designed to produce electricity that can be fed into the local power grid. While a single wind turbine can produce quite a bit of power, turbines are often built in groups, called wind farms. These are built in windy areas, usually open flat plains or exposed ridges.

Since wind energy is a renewable resource and does not produce any pollution, it is a good alternative to fossil fuels. A wind turbine can produce enough electricity in about 6 months to recover the amount of energy used in building it, although it takes much longer than that to pay for itself. While wind energy is a great supplemental energy, it is unlikely to become a primary energy source due to limitations on where turbines can be built and the unpredictability of wind.

Experiment with Wind Power.

How Living Off the Grid Works

Look at the pinwheel pattern to do the following steps. Use a ruler to draw diagonal lines from corner to corner. Fold the corners marked with circles on the pattern into the center and staple the layers together. Push the pin through the eraser on the pencil to finish the pinwheel. Hold the pinwheel in front of a fan and watch it spin. The currents of air coming from the fan catch the curved part of the blades, causing them to spin.

Part 2 — Generator Remove the pinwheel from the pencil and punch the shaft of the motor through the center. Try putting a couple strips of masking tape on the back of the pinwheel before you punch it through — this will make a tighter fit on the motor shaft. If your motor came with a little cap for the end of the shaft, put that on to hold the pinwheel in place.

Use the alligator clip leads to connect the motors wires to the light bulb. With such an intermittent source of power, the electricity produced by wind turbines often requires battery storage. These batteries generally have a long life span of about ten to twenty years, but eventually require replacement.

As with solar power systems that use batteries to store energy, battery disposal is an issue as the materials used to create batteries are toxic to the environment. Some people prefer to use gasoline-powered generators as a secondary source of power on the days when there is little wind. These generators usually burn fossil fuels. The burning of fossil fuels contributes to air pollution. It also emits greenhouse gases, which are damaging to the atmosphere.

Wind machines can also cause noise pollution. The whirling of the blades and the spinning of the turbine In areas where wind power is abundant, wind farms like this one in Palm Springs, California, can generate electricity in a very cost-effective manner. Many people find this noise to be an irritant and consider it noise pollution. For some people wind machines are a pleasing sight. The straight lines against a blue sky make a beautiful view. For others wind machines and wind farms are an eyesore. They disrupt the view and break up the natural landscape. The blades are dizzying, the towers block the sun, and their bases are large blocks of unattractive cement.

Wind machines can also have an environmental impact on wildlife. They are considered something of a hazard to migratory birds. The birds fly into the blades and are killed. Since many migratory birds already suffer the hardship of lost habitat, this can pose quite a secondary threat to their population. For example, in a study conducted in by the California Energy Commission, thirty-nine golden eagles, out of about five hundred breeding pairs, were killed at the Altamont Pass wind farm.

For this reason, scientists are studying the flight patterns of migratory birds more thoroughly, and wind farmers are trying not to build in migratory birds' flight paths. Researchers are also experimenting with painting the blades to make the blades more visible to birds. For example, instead of the usual white, researchers are painting the blades with black and orange stripes. Wind machines are becoming more popular as their reliability increases. Wind machines are also becoming far more simplified in structure and no longer require as much maintenance.

In the early days of the industry, blades were made from materials such as wood and cloth that needed frequent repair or replacement, the internal workings of the machines needed regular lubrication, and the overall size of the structures was small compared to those of today. Scientists and technicians are working to improve the efficiency of wind turbines even further, which would provide a boost to the wind power industry. Some of the specifics of the investigations include redesigning the shape of the blades and the materials they are made of, improving the internal mechanisms, and exploring optimum locations for the machines.

The wind farm, located in Texas, is expected to have the capacity to supply sixty thousand homes with electricity. David Butterworth, the head of business development at American National Wind Power, believes this project will be a success. It produces no gas emissions which contribute to global warming and climate change, no waste products and no radioactive contaminants. Many wind farm developers feel that as wind power becomes better understood and accepted by the American consumer, the wind farm industry will become a viable power choice in the U.

Wind Turbines: The Modern Windmill

The s saw a massive increase in the use of stand-alone wind machines in the United States. That trend has continued with about five times as many wind machines now in use as there were in Today, people living off the grid in appropriately windy locations are building their homes with wind power in mind. Many are now looking at the environmental and economic impacts of their energy choices and are choosing wind power. This consumer demand for wind power will be a critical factor in its development.

Wind machine owners may ask to net meter the electricity they produce at their own homes. This means they can generate electricity using wind power and sell their excess electricity to the power company. Sonja Ling of the Renewable Northwest Project believes, "Net-metering for small-scale, clean, renewable energy systems is one important step towards diversifying the region's energy mix and reducing our over-dependence on hydropower and fossil fuels.

For this to work, however, the utility companies must be willing to participate in the net-metering program. Paul Gipe of Real Goods points out that, in contrast to other countries, American utilities pay small-scale wind power producers only 35 to 40 percent of the retail rate, or three or four cents per kilowatt-hour. Several companies are helping to spur the growth of larger scale wind projects.

White Wave, the nation's largest Large-scale wind farms like this one in Altamont, California, are becoming more practical sources of power as energy-conscious businesses commit to using them. The Environmental Protection Agency estimates White Wave's purchase of wind power will keep 32 million pounds of carbon dioxide from being released into the atmosphere. This is the same amount of carbon dioxide released by thirty-five hundred cars being driven for a year. The U. Department of Energy is seeking to have 5 percent of the energy produced in the United States come from wind power by the year In theory, however, the department says that the world's winds could supply fifteen times the amount of energy currently used worldwide.

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A Problem With Wind Power [alcremizronews.cf]

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Harnessing the Wind For centuries farmers have used windmills to harness the wind to grind grain into flour for baking. Wind Turbines: The Modern Windmill Wind turbines work much like windmills, but they are used specifically to generate electricity. Plentiful Winds Like solar power, wind power is a renewable energy source.

Small-Scale Production Potential Wind power can also be produced on a smaller scale, serving the needs of rural homes.