RENEWABLE ENERGY AT GLENFOREST

Wind Energy

Wind Energy

What is Wind

Wind is a natural phenomenon that occurs everywhere on Earth. Although wind can be used for recreational purposes such as sailing, hang gliding, and flying kites, wind also has a huge role in energy generation. Advances in wind turbine technology and the amount of regions suitable for producing power have made wind power the fastest-growing source of energy in the world.

Environmental Impact of Wind Energy

Pros:
  • Environmentally friendly energy source
  • Produces no greenhouse gasses or pollutants
  • Users of wind energy have smaller carbon footprints
  • Renewable source of energy


Cons:

  • Wind turbines kill more than 75 000 birds every year in the United States alone
  • Wind turbines warm up surrounding air at night
Bird killed by green energy

Efficiency

  • Wind turbines only run between wind speeds of 5-25 meters per second
  • A wind turbine is most efficient when wind speeds are 15 meters per second
  • A wind turbine only produces electricity 70%-85% of the time
  • In a year, a wind turbine will generate only about 30% of it's theoretical maximum output.

Conserving Electricity at Glenforest by Turning off the Lights

"It's better to enlighten a child than to light a school room." Thomas Edison

Many classrooms in Glenforest have windows that allow enough sunlight in to light the room naturally. Turning off all of the artificial lights in those rooms will not only save electricity, but also provide a more natural setting for learning. It can also help keep the room cooler, which can save on air conditioning in the summer.

How Much Can we Save?

Many schools have tried this easy way of conserving electricity. The Lake Stevens School District in Seattle have saved $1.5 million in 2 years, just by turning off their lights and other electrical appliances when they weren't in use. This seemingly insignificant action helped reduce the school district's energy consumption by 34%.


At Glenforest, we can take it up a notch by turning off all lights in rooms that can be lit bright enough with only sunlight. To estimate the amount of energy we could save by doing this, we first set the following conditions:


  • There are 200 light bulbs in our school
  • Each light bulb uses 30 Watts of power
  • Each light bulb will be turned off for an extra 3 hours every day
  • There are 200 days in a school year
  • Electricity costs $0.10/kWh


Energy saved = # of lights(200) x 30 Watts x 3 hours / 1000 = kWh

Energy saved = 3600 kWh


Over the course of one school year, just by turning off 200 light bulbs for an extra three hours a day, you can conserve 3600 kWh of energy. This would amount to $360 being saved.


The amount of energy being conserved and the amount of money being saved can be increased by turning off other electrical appliances for longer periods of time.