Wind Power Energy

Betty asks…

If you were to choose a subject for a poster what would you choose?

So i’m doing this poster for school and the teacher gave us 5 options to choose from: Wind power, Biomass energy, Hydro power, Geothermal energy or Solar power. I’m not sure what to chose could you give me some answers of what to choose?
We are discussing about global warming and these are some ways to change it.

Windmill Farms answers:

Hi Lara. We have been powering our home for 11 years now with the wind and sun. There are also solar water preheaters, rainwater collection tanks and a wood stove in the living room and shop. For the past 6 years or so, I’ve been going to the local schools and teaching seminars on solar power, and in some cases, the schools have run bus loads of kids out to our place to see a home like this first hand. One thing I’ve learned over the years is almost everyone asks questions about wind turbines first. There is something about them, the way they move, the noise people imagine when they see even a picture of one that draws their attention.

Wind power is actually a bit of work. The machines are mounted in very inaccessible places, they have moving parts that break down, they can make unwanted noise, and anyone within a quarter mile has to see the thing, yet everyone wants to learn more. Pictures of solar panels are cool, but they never move or even change color when they run. Pictures of a biomass operation sound absolutely ugly. Probably the wood stove would be the best of them. If it were me, and you wanted to draw attention with your poster, go with wind. Look online for interesting pictures of turbines, particularly in unusual places, like a remote artic weather station, next to a camping tent, on a sailboat or a mountain. A really good eye catcher is a big one with a technician hanging on the side of the tower in a harness working on the turbine. That really gives you a great idea how large the units can be. I’ll list some places you can look for photos, and information you can add to the poster. Good luck Lara, and take care, Rudydoo

Mary asks…

where should solar energy, wind power, and geothermal energy systems be located on a farm?

Please give a brief description of where each of these should be located on a farm and why.

Solar energy system:

Wind Power system:

Geothermal Energy system:

Thanks

Windmill Farms answers:

Often solar panels are placed on a roof. If it is on the main house it will also keep the house cooler and electrical wiring lines will be shorter. But if they are on the ground it will be easier to keep the panels clean. In either place it should not be shaded.

A wind power system should be as high as possible and away from trees and buildings that might obstruct the flow of air, but you would not want to locate it so far away that electric lines pose too much resistance.

A geothermal system can be built in many different ways. If there is a pond nearby that is deep enough using this for the ground loops is the cheapest method. Trenches can be dug and a long loop system installed or most commonly two wells can be drilled and water will be pumped from one go through the system and be deposited in another well. The equipment that uses the loop will be located within the house.

Jenny asks…

How does energy production using wind energy compare to other sources?

How does the energy production using wind energy compare to other sources? (such as solar, geo thermal, ect.)
Also, i need a diagram or picture to show how the energy is produced using wind energy

Windmill Farms answers:

A diagram of wind energy would show the sun heating air, air flowing from hot to cold areas and a wind turbine collecting some of the power.

A diagram of coal power would show the sun shining on a forest, the forest dying and being buried, the buried forest being mined as coal and burned at a power plant.

A diagram of hydro power would show the sun shining on a sea, the water evaporating forming clouds which rain over land forming rivers that flow and hydro dams generating power from that flow

A diagram of geothermal power would be a cross section of the Earth showing a hot interior, pipes going down to collect the heat bringing heated water or rather steam up to a generation plant.

Winds blow more at night than during the day so contrary to popular belief, wind power is not available throughout the entire day and since energy demand is the highest during the day, wind power isn’t particularly useful as it’s only available when people don’t need it. Both wind and solar energy are not available on demand so standby power facilities that use natural gas must be available to step in when the wind fades or a cloud passes by so there is a limit of how much of our energy can be solar or wind without adding additional fossil fueled power plants which we hope not to use. With wind and solar, you not only pay for the wind and solar energy generation but also for the fossil fuels energy generation to be held in reserve.

Ken asks…

what other ways are there to create energy without using fossil fuels and minerals?

some of the ways i know how to save energy are:
land fill gases used for energy
wind power
solar power
wave energy
are there any others? what are they?

Windmill Farms answers:

I think biofuels could be an effective way to produce energy…but not the kind derived from corn (which actually has a net energy production of zero, considering the energy needed to plant, harvest, fertilize, etc. Outweighs the energy of the produced ethanol). I’m talking about using either a) food/organic waste (which can be decomposed in anoxic conditions to produce methane via bacterial decay, much like landfill gas), or by using algae, which can essentially grow in a slimy brine pit if needed, or in the ocean, and actually would be carbon-neutral (since the carbon released in combustion was already removed by them in growth).

Essentially anything that contains heat, moves, contains high energy chemical bonds, etc., can theoretically be harnessed to produce energy. For example, your body heat, the heat of the Earth [geothermal], nuclear fission reactions which produce heat as a byproduct, or solar heating, which involves heat absorbed via sunlight, are all thermal sources of energy. Things that move, which have kinetic energy, are the wind, tides in the ocean, waterfalls, etc. Things that can be burned/oxidized, such as fossil fuels and the sugars we eat every day to keep us alive, also contain energy. This is only a small sample of things that could be used, if you use your imagination.

From physics, energy is neither created nor destroyed, but simply transferred from one form to another…the problem is in harnessing the energy as it changes forms (efficiency). Any of the above forms of energy can ultimately be turned into electricity through motors or generators (which convert energies into useful forms, like electricity).

By the way, landfill gas is essentially methane, and is actually a hydrocarbon (like fossil fuels) that is only carbon neutral if the material being decomposed in the landfill recently extracted CO2 from the atmosphere (i.e. Not a fossil fuel).

George asks…

How long more will normal life on earth be possible?

Our oil reserves are depleting fast and how long more can the economies and normal life last when oil reserves run dry? What can we use after this? Go back to wood/charcoal? Then all the trees will be cut down before regrowths are achieved and cause a major reduction in oxygen supplies. Nuclear energy is still very dangerous to handle and risky. Solar energy is seasonal and not all day long. Wind power is marginal energy, not always there to charge up huge banks of batteries. Marine wave power is not sufficient and depends on the tides. Countries with high mountains and hydro electric power will be saved from this doom as long as there is water in the lakes and reservoirs to run them. Maybe we all go back to the good old horse and buggy days again in no time at all.

Windmill Farms answers:

You call this NORMAL?????
Remember, a big problem before the automobile was horse droppings. The ‘good ol’ days’ were never all that good! Fortunately, there ARE answers. Clean ethanol fuels, wind, solar, and geothermal energy are all viable, as is wave power generation. That doesn’t even touch the more esoteric power supplies like aether and zero point power. This is not the end. It is not even the end of the beginning.

But the system as it is will indeed collapse soon. I don’t give it 6 months. (I DO hope I’m wrong!)

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