Giant Wind Turbines

Test Your Knowlege of

Wind energy is getting a lot more attention lately. In fact, some people hope that wind turbines will someday be able to generate enough electricity to power homes. Here are some facts we discovered on the Internet about these amazing inventions.

What country had the first windmills?
a) USA
b) China
c) Iran
d) Holland

At http://www.eia.doe.gov/kids/energyfacts/sources/renewable/wind.html, you learn that the earliest known windmills were in Persia, which today is called Iran (c). These early windmills looked like large paddle wheels. Centuries later, the people of Holland improved the basic design of the windmill. They gave it propeller-type blades to pump water or to ‘mill’ (grind) grain to make flour.






True or False: Do the giant blades of a turbine kill birds?

At http://www.technologyreview.com/Energy/18167/?a=f you learn that yes, birds can fly into the blades and die. But mostly, researchers have discovered that birds tend to stay far away from the large turbines. At http://www.currykerlinger.com/birds.htm you learn that many more birds are killed from glass windows and house cats.







How many homes can the largest wind generator in the world provide power for?
a) 10
b) 500
c) 5,000
d) 500,000

At http://www.metaefficient.com/news/new-record-worlds-largest-wind-turbine-7-megawatts.html you learn about the giant Enercon E-126 (pictured to the left). Located in Germany, it has been called the largest wind turnine in the world, with the ability to produce enough electricity for a town with 5, 000 houses — each with four people.







What country leads the world in wind power?
a) USA
b) China
c) Germany
d) Australia

According to http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/business/4944046.stm, Europe has much greater public acceptance of the concept of wind energy, and a lot of breezy days. Currenty, Germany leads the world in wind power generation, with the biggest wind turbine and the largest number of wind farms. The USA is in second place but that gap is narrowing. One thing for sure, with the rising cost of energy, we’ll probably be seeing more giant wind turbines on top of hillsides — perhaps in your own home town!





Resources for teachers:

Kidwind (www.kidwind.org) is an online catalog of wind power kits that was created by a 6th grade teacher named Michael Arquin, and it has turned into a thriving business. For about $90, you get a kit called the ALTurbine that includes different blades, small generators that can charge batteries or power LEDs, gears, a small pump and power capacitors. The site includes lesson plans.

Want to see a wind turbine explode? Of course you do. Visit http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7nSB1SdVHqQ.



Filed in: Energy, Science

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One Response to "Giant Wind Turbines"

  1. micky says:

    I know the cost to build these wind turbines is high;however,after they are built it would seem the cost would be little to maintain.

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