Written and compiled by Fred Jaicks.
Wind denotes a powerful, natural force that can be used for constructive and destructive purposes. In a natural setting, wind can propel sailboats and destroy architectural foundations. Homeowners fear destructive winds, especially those produced from a tornado or hurricane, because it can literally leave one’s shelter in ruins. Thanks to the innovative pioneers in free energy, wind has been turned into an economical ally that can illuminate homes and energize generators. In fact, wind-generated structural devices can potentially save Americans millions of dollars if implemented into daily usage as an alternative energy source. Energy engineers of the future will help bring this technology to the forefront of society, whereby turbine production will replace the limited fossil fuels of yesteryear.
Wind naturally occurs with a shift of atmospheric gases above the Earth’s surface. Wind consists of various air molecules rapidly moving around at different rates of speed. In fact, different patterns of motion and strength create disastrous formations, such as hurricanes, tornadoes, typhoons, and gales. Depending on the specific global region, the speed of wind will fluctuate with the amount of solar energy absorbed, circulated, and regulated onto the Earth’s surface. The temperature between poles also influences global wind patterns.
The jet stream, a natural flow from East to West in the upper troposphere, affects the overall weather and wind throughout the world. In fact, the air current ranges between an estimated 1,000 to 3,000 miles long, depending on the seasonal positions of the planet. In fact, the jet stream pulls hot and cold air across entire continents, which changes the temperature within a given region. Since its discovery near Mount Fuji in 1920, the jet stream has helped meteorologists determine the weather patterns and predict its effect on society inland. Additionally, trade winds guide tropical storms and other large storms on the path they are destined to travel. These storm cells are generally found near the equator, commonly known as the tropics.
The north and south poles of the earth have two distinct wind patterns that never change. The easterlies stem from the polar region of the globe, while the westerlies originate in the uppermost western hemisphere. Storm cells form when these two wind patterns collide. Mankind has learned to harness wind power to create some of the most innovative devices of our time, including sailboats, blimps, and wind turbines. If used correctly, wind can provide limitless energy to illuminate our cities and warm our homes during cold, winter months. Scientists measure wind by the Beaufort Scale, a method employed to measure the winds produced off the surface of the ocean with an anemometer. Wind can be applied to our lives in many creative ways if we continue to research and promote its effectiveness in the areas that we currently use it on a massive scale in relation to renewable energy.
- As the Rotor Turns: Wind Power & You: A comprehensive lesson plan for future, energy engineers that will learn the basic dynamics of wind-generated energy and modern turbine designs.
- Renewable Energy: Wind Turbine Technology: A resourceful list of renewable energy organizations actively working to making wind turbine technology the next wave of the future.
- Recycle Utah: A project consisting of promoting wind-generated energy through use of turbine technology.
- New Mexico State University: Global Renewable Energy Organizations: A compilation of global renewable energy advocacy groups determined to induce change throughout the world by implementing wind-turbine and other technologies that do not emit harmful pollution into the Earth’s atmosphere.
- The Science and Technology Awareness Site: A website promoting science and online technology activities for bilingual students who wish to learn more about wind-turbine technology and how it can revolutionize the world into a cleaner, safer environment for all to inhabit.
Energy Park at the Oregon County Fair: An extensive list of resources, including hydro-power organizations, wind turbine generation, government agencies supporting renewable energy, and educational websites backing this technology.
- Keep Earth Beautiful: Wind Turbines as Renewable Energy: A web page dedicated to the promotion of wind turbines as a source of renewable energy. It addresses how wind turbine technology was used for centuries without the unnecessary pollution released into the atmosphere caused by modern fossil fuels.
- Ridgeline Energy: Using Wind and Solar Power Efficiently: A pioneer in the wind-powered, turbine industry that wishes to continue the promotion and efficient employment of clean, renewable energy via the natural element produced by the planet.