Wind Turbines


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"Wind Turbines" is a PowerPoint for primary and secondary students that provides a description of wind turbines and their use in producing green energy. It also highlights careers in the field of green energy and engineering. This lesson can be paired with a "Build Your Own Wind Farm" activity.

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Wind Turbines

  1. 1. Wind Turbines
  2. 2. History The first windmill appeared in Persia in 200 BC. The first wind turbine was built in 1887 in Scotland and was used to power one home.
  3. 3. How Wind Turbines Work Three main parts: the tower, the nacelle, and the rotor blades. Wind spins the blades around a rotor which then spins a generator to create electricity. Wind speeds of approximately 30 miles per hour are ideal. Most turbines installed today are 2 MW and cost between $3-4 million
  4. 4. Wind Turbine Transportation Wind Turbines require specialized transport due to their size. Pieces require unique equipment only used in wind turbine transportation. Wind Turbines are transported by rail, truck, and water. A single turbine can require up to eight hauls (one nacelle, one hub, three blades and three tower sections).
  5. 5. Transportation Continued Trucks are a beneficial because they deliver directly to site. Challenges include state laws required for oversized loads and the high price of fuel. Transportation by rail and water is more economically efficient. However, rarely do these forms of transportation have access to the final site.
  6. 6. Construction of a Wind Farm Spacing of 6-10 times the rotor diameter is often upheld. Wind speeds greater than about 6.5 (14.5 mph) meter per second at 80 meters are idea. Wind turbines shut off at 25 meters per second (56 mph). Wide open spaces - such as open plains, gaps in mountains, or on top of hills. A large wind farm can be constructed in as little as six months. However site assessment and development can take up to two years.
  7. 7. An average wind turbine can produce enough electricity for 350-500 homes.
  8. 8. Texas leads the nation in wind energy production. The largest wind farm in Texas covers over 100,000 acres in four counties and produces enough electricity to power 265,000 homes.
  9. 9. Why Wind Energy? Unlike other forms of energy, wind energy uses virtually no water. This will save 30 trillion bottles of water by 2030. Wind energy is pollution free. Wind energy creates 30% more jobs than a coal plant and 66% more than a nuclear power plant per unit of energy generated.
  10. 10. A Few Wind Energy Cons… Unpredictable- some days the wind just doesn’t blow and no energy is produced. Can kill migrating birds, however wind turbines are often constructed off migration paths.
  11. 11. Wind Turbines in Nebraska Nebraska has the fourth largest potential for wind energy but doesn’t even rank in the top 10 for production. Current wind energy in Nebraska can power about 160,000 homes. 260 operational wind turbines on 11 different sites. Lack of available infrastructure in western Nebraska decreases the amount of wind farms.
  12. 12. • Salary: $51,000 - $61,000 • Education: Bachelor’s • Experience: 0 - 2 years Civil Engineer • Salary: $50,000 – $57,000 • Education: Bachelor’s • Experience: 0 - 2 years Environmental Engineer • Salary: $50,000 – $54,000 • Education: Wind Tech. Certificate • Experience: 0 - 2 years Wind Technician Engineering Careers
  13. 13. Civil Engineers Designs and supervises construction projects such as airports, bridges, channels, dams, railroads, and roads Responsibilities also include estimating costs and personnel and material needs, preparing proposals and establishing completion dates
  14. 14. Environmental Engineer Environmental engineers use the principles of engineering, soil science, biology, and chemistry to develop solutions to environmental problems. They are involved in efforts to improve recycling, waste disposal, public health, and control of water and air pollution
  15. 15. Wind Technician Typical work duties for the occupation include; torqueing, fluid changes, component replacement, hydraulic system repair, and electrical system troubleshooting. Wind Technicians work in small teams in order to regularly service 2 to 3 wind turbines per day. California, Colorado, Iowa, Illinois, Minnesota, Nebraska, Oklahoma, Oregon, Texas, Utah, Washington, and Wisconsin are all experiencing wind technician shortages.
  16. 16. How do we know how much power a wind turbine can produce?*1.2*314*%28_^ 3%29
  17. 17. Building Your Own Wind Farm Using the supplies given to you, place as many turbines on your landscape board as you think would power your school for one day. Remember: 1) think about the optimal wind speed for wind turbines when determining placement 2) wind turbines can’t be built in bird migration paths 3) wind turbines can’t be built where wind speed exceeds 56 mph 4) wind turbines can’t be built within 300 m from the nearest home (for this project assume wind turbines can’t be built 5 inches from the nearest home) Use your worksheet to determine how many turbines it would take to power Culler Middle School for one day. Good luck!