An Exploration of Wind Energy & Wind Turbines
This unit, which includes both a pre and post test on wind power engages students by allowing them to explore connections between wind energy and other forms of energy. Students learn about and examine the overall design of a wind turbine and then move forward with an assessment of the energy output as factors involving wind speed, direction and blade design are altered. Students are directed to work in teams to design, test and analyze components of a wind turbine such as blade length, blade shape, height of turbine, etc. Student worksheets are included to facilitate the design and analysis process.
-explain how wind is produced and what makes for a good wind energy site.
-explain why electricity generated from wind is a “good” source of energy.
-identify the major components of a wind turbine.
-list several of the design factors that produce efficient wind turbines.
-describe at least one occupation associated with wind turbines and know what education is required for this position.
-use sound experimental design practices while performing my investigation.
-Have students take the Wind Survey as a pre‐test.
-Power Point/video presentation makes connections between wind energy to other energies, generators, weather and wind.
-Building an electrical generator (teacher demonstration). Instruction for building this is included on following pages.
-Generators/Motor demonstration with Genecon (teacher demonstration).
- Time permitting‐Gas Convection Apparatus and Touch Paper demonstrates the formation of convection currents in air. ( www.sargentwelch.com item # CP77560‐00 & item #WL1728)
-Students will read the 1st half (through electricity section) of the Student Guide on wind energy for homework.
-Class Discussion on homework reading.
-Demonstrate the Kid Wind Turbine with the fan and multimeter (Explain the components of the turbine and how to use the multimeter using the transparency.)
-Have several students explore the turbine output at various distances from the fan and
at different fan speeds, as measured by the multimeter.
-Brainstorm on factors/variables that effect wind turbine design.
-Explain the goals of the following lab experiments. Review what practices make for good
experimental design and the need to control variables.
-Student will read the remainder of the Student Guide.
- Class will be broken into 8 groups. Two groups will explore one of the following set of variables. Variable groups are 1) number of blades and length of blades; 2) mass of blade and mass distribution; 3) blade pitch and generator type; 4) gear ratios. Student will use the Wind Turbine Experiment Sheet to record their work.
- Review of safety, reminder about the importance of having the ability to share out meaningful results, and reminder of not wasting material.
-Each group will write up the experimental design prior to conducting any experiment. Teacher authorization is required prior to experimentation.
-Group presentation of results. Each group will have five minutes to explain their test and their results.
- Slideshow of possible blade design ideas.
- Groups will now attempt to create an optimal wind generator based on the results of their peers and each group’s ideas for optimal blade design. Each design team will document their wind turbine design on the Wind Turbine Competition Form.
- Results of all groups will be collected on the Class Data Sheet.
-Power in the Wind calculation and efficiency calculation assigned as homework.
-Visit to Ponnequin Wind Farm and Vestas wind turbine blade manufacturing facility in Windsor
-Examination of Air‐X wind turbine (teacher lead).
-Last chance revision to make the ultimate wind generator.
-After School project: setting up Air‐X turbine system for powering class room laptop PCs.
-Wind Expo: groups will display/explain their turbine design to class visitors. (Other classes, other schools, Qwest, administration.)
Pre-assessment and handouts can be found at the end of the attached document.
Assessment rubric can be found on page 2 of the attached document.
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