By: Trey Bennett, Cameron Wilkerson, Amber Fuller
The Process of Creating Energy
The wind turbine works opposite of a fan by making electricity. The wind turns the blades which connects to a generator and makes electricity. Wind is a form of solar energy. Wind turbines use the kinetic energy in the wind. Mechanical power task can help by pumping water or grinding grain. Wind turbines use a blade or rotor and there is a tower to rotate the blades. The towers can produce 50 to 750 kWh.
Concerns For Wildlife, Environment
The noise produced by the rotor blades can be very annoying for people as well as the site of the turbine. There are also aesthetic impacts on the landscape. Birds and bats have been killed by flying into the the rotors, but some large companies have only had minor incidents. The wind mills take up a lot of space too. Wind turbines can change air pressure and that can kill the birds as well. About 573,000 birds and 888,000 bats have been killed by wind turbines.
The equipment costs about $40,000 without shipping and installation added on a 10 kilowatt tower. They cost about $3,000-$8,000 per kilowatt of capacity. A kilowatt is a measure of 1,000 watts of electrical power. The U.S. has received $30 billion in federal subsides and grants, but they have only supplied 4.4% of electricity. The average home uses 911 kWh per month, 10,932 kWh a year. An 11,000 kWh tower would cost $33,000-$44,000. To run an entire wind farm it can cost $450,000-$1,200,000.
Development of Technology
Wind energy was first used in sailboats. The first windmill in the U.S. was made by Daniel Halladay who began making windmills in 1854. Between 1850 and 1970 over six million windmills were installed. Early windmills used a weather vain to turn the blades into the wind. New developments lead to using multiple blades. Now companies use iron and steel because they require less work.