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Windmills and Hydroelectric Turbines
Transcript of Windmills and Hydroelectric Turbines
Hydroelectric Turbines How do Windmills Generate Electricity? Well, first, and air current passes through the blades of the windmill, causing them to spin. This motion causes the blades to spin on a shaft, that spins some gears inside the gear box, and spins the motor shaft. This then causes the magnets in the motor to spin, generating electricity. How do Hydroelectric Turbines work? The process of generating electricity through a dam is a similar process to that of the Windmill's.
First, water from a reservoir is funneled into a small tunnel, where it rushes past the blades of the turbine, causing them to spin. This rotates the shaft of the motor, which spins, and creates power. The Parts of a Windmill. There are several different parts to a windmill. First, and most foremost, the carefully manufactured
blades, which cost thousands of dollars a piece. The next is the base of the windmill, which must be strong and sturdy to support the windmill in strong winds. Next, is the gear box, containing the gears that spin, and rotate the motor's high-speed shaft, which is made to have as little friction as possible. The Parts of a Hydroelectric Turbine The Hydroelectric turbine is similar to the windmill, as are its parts. Though this turbine does not have a gearbox, and its rotor shaft goes straight to the motor, it has something different, which would be a tunnel. Instead of a strong, tall base, it has a big, thick-walled dam, that holds the water in the reservoir, for later use. The turbine has blades, a shaft, and a motor, which is different from the Windmill's motor, as it has three main parts, the Shaft, the Stator, and the Rotor. As the Shaft spins, the Rotor is turned, spinning and rubbing the Stator as it goes, producing a current, which is passed up into the power plant. The Average Windmill... The average Windmill can produce about 20 kilowatts. This amount of electricity is able to power a small neighborhood. The Average Hydroelectric Turbine... If There Is One... There is no such thing as an average hydro turbine. Every Hydroelectric turbine produces a different amount of energy, but, lucky for you, there is an equation to figure out how electricity is produced. The equation is: (Height of the dam wall) x (River Flow) x (Efficiency) / 11.8 This equation, is the height of the dam, times how fast the water flow is, times how efficient the turbine is, divided by 11.8. This equation can help you figure out how many homes it can power, as there are 3-4 people in each home (on average), and each person uses 3,000 kilowatt hours every year. Of Course, That Was The Average Windmill... But of course, that was only the average Windmill, and everyone knows, there's always an overachiever. The LARGEST Windmill in the world, the Enercon E-126 model, produces 20 million kilowatts annually. That's a lot of electricity!
BUT WAIT, THERE'S MORE!
The world's largest Hydroelectric Dam, spanning the Yangtze River, in the Hubei Province of China. This Dam, not only is the largest, most electricity-generating Dam in the world, but it makes MORE THAN 4,200 TIMES what the world's largest Windmill produces. Three Gorges Dam, produces a WHOPPING 84.370 Terawatts, which is so large, I won't even bother converting it into kilowatts, but just in case you wanted to know, that's
84 370 000 000 kilowatts! Compare... Both Windmills and Hydroelectric Turbines operate on the same principle. The water, or air currents, come at the rotors, containing kinetic energy. When they hit those rotors, the rotors spin, causing the motor to generate electricity. Contrast... There are only two main differences between the Windmill and Hydroelectric Turbine.
1. The Hydroelectric Turbine uses water, the other (Windmill) uses wind currents.
2. Windmills don't always have a steady flow of air, thus the amount of electricity generated varies, while Hydroelectric Turbines always have a steady flow of water, and keep producing electricity.
How Many Windmills & Dams? Why? Well, at the end of 2011, there were 199,064 Windmills globally, while there was only 48,000 Dams worldwide. This is partially due to the fact that not everyone has a running water source nearby. Dams are fairly inexpensive to Windmills, as they only cost about 4,000$ to buy and install total, while Windmills, the commercially available ones, cost about 1.5-2,000,000 dollars. But that's commercially available, while a small Windmill, costing about 15-20,000$ will produce the electricity your home needs. The Windmills also need a good source of wind to generate enough electricity for profit, and they can generate from 3-10 Kilowatts of electricity, which is plenty for your needs. Where Are Those Pesky Generators? Most Windmills are concentrated in the Great Plains, where the wind blows abundant. While Hydroelectric Dams on the other hand, well, take a look. Money Money Money! The most commonly used, commercially available Windmill, the GE-1.5 Megawatt model, is about 2 million dollars, with everything included. Now, since I have established that there is no such thing as an "average" Dam, you can usually get different types of Dams, depending on what type of water source is near you. If you have a lake, that stems off into a river, this is perfect. You can dam up the entrance with a big wall, and then, make a small entrance back into the river's normal path, and you've got a darned good electricity-makin' Dam, that will cost you probably half of what a Windmill would. Maintenance... These big machines have to be kept running, and in order to do that, there are technicians. A Windmill technician, would climb up the windmill, up into the heart of it (where the motor is) and fix any thing up, and oil it, and then climb back down. These guys just make sure that the Windmill is at peak (or close to peak) performance. The Dams, are a little different, as they, have more part to them. The technician, will go to the generator, check it, fix any thing, get new parts, check that it's functioning properly, and then, they go inspect the waterway. The place water enters, and rushes to spin the turbine; the technician will check the tunnel's surface for holes, and other things that may slow the water down, and leaks as well. William's Windmill His Windmill produced the perfect type of current, AC current. it was good for powering his lights around his house, but, he needed a rectifier to charge up his battery, which changes the AC current into DC current. When William first tried to power up his radio, he had too much power running through, and this almost burnt out his radio, and so, he made a small transformer, which brought the voltage down halfway, just enough to power the radio without burning it up. William's Switch William's switch, was explained in a way that was a little difficult to understand, but I think I got the concept of it. Basically, in the off position, the rubber buttons, have a piece of metal on the end of them, and when switched on, they connect with whatever circuit you want the electricity to go to, thus powering the light, or charging the battery. William used spokes from a bike, strips of iron and rubber from his shoe soles. AC and DC Current The main differences between the two types of currents, is that DC current can only travel so far-about a mile or so-before losing voltage. AC current can travel much farther without losing voltage. DC current, can actually be found in nature, such as lighting, and the messages animals send to their brains, those messages are electric signals and impulses. DC current, as found by Thomas Edison, discovered that when a magnet is placed near a wire, the poles attract and repel each other, and this is how the battery was born. AC, however, is different, and Nikola Telsa, discovered that a rotating magnet-instead of applying magnetism steadily along the wire-would make all the electrons flow in one direction, and when the polarity was reversed, all the electrons would reverse their flow as well. When faced in one direction, the electrons flowed towards the positive side of the magnet, but when the magnet was flipped, the electrons flowed towards the negative end. THE END! HOPE YOU ENJOYED!