Earth Science

Natural Resources

Wind Power

Study Tip
Large wind farms consist of several hundred individual wind turbines that are connected to the electric power transmission network.

Renewable Resource

Wind power is a renewable resource that utilizes the kinetic energy from wind to power turbines that generate electricity.

Study Tip
Large wind farms consist of several hundred individual wind turbines that are connected to the electric power transmission network.
Study Tip
The same way a person may cast a shadow over another person when they stand under the sun, planets or celestial bodies that have aligned themselves cast shadows over one another as well.

How it Works

  • The Sun heats different locations on Earth by different amounts.
  • Air that becomes warm rises and then sucks cooler air into that area.
  • The movement of air from one spot to another along the ground creates wind. This movement is called convection

  • Since wind is moving, it has kinetic energy. The wind blows the propeller of a wind mill
  • The circular motion of the propeller powers a generator that produces electricity

Advantages and Disadvantages

Advantages
Disadvantages
  • Does not release pollutants or carbon dioxide
  • Wind is plentiful in most places
  • Expensive
  • Wears out quickly
  • Wind does not blow all the time
  • Windmills are not welcomed by residents of some locations

Variables

Factors affecting wind power
Description
Wind Velocity
minimum wind speeds of 8 mph peak power between 25-55 mph
Blade Radius
The larger the radius, the larger area of wind can be acquired
Tower Height
Taller turbines are generally more efficient
Air Density
Denser air near sea level is more efficient
Concept Check
  • What are electromagnetic waves?
  • How are electromagnetic waves classified?
  • What is the unit that measure the amount of light reflected off a surface?