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Wind Energy Basics (Text Version)

This is the text version of the video "Wind Energy Basics."

Child: Hey mom, how do those big fans work?

Woman: A wind turbine?

Child: Yes.

Woman: They generate electricity from the wind.

Child: Why?

Woman: The big blades are pushed by the wind and that generates electricity.

Child: Why?

Woman: Well do you see how the blades are curved like a penguin's wing? When the wind blows over both sides of the blade, it creates a force called lift.

Believe it or not, just like an airplane, lift is the most important force that powers a wind turbine. The air pushes up under the blade and makes it rotate. The power of lift moves with the blade around and around.

Child: Why?

Woman: Well there are little gears inside each turbine that move even faster than the blades. These increase the rotations and generate electricity.

Each wind turbine has what is called a wind vane which is like the brain. It's connected to a computer and turns the turbine to face the wind. More wind means more electricity. This is also why wind turbines are big and tall.

Child: Why?

Woman: Well because bigger blades can cover more area in the sky. Some are as big as football fields. Pretty cool, huh? And, it's windier higher up, so that's why they're tall. It's important that wind turbines generate a lot of electricity.

Child: Why?

Woman: Because it's great way to make electricity—it's clean energy, wind is free, and it's becoming a big source of our electricity, which powers so many parts of our lives. A single wind turbine can power more than 600 homes. That's more than our whole neighborhood!

Child: Hey mom, how do those shiny boxes on our roof work?

Woman: Solar panels?

Child: Yes.

Woman: Let's save that for tomorrow.

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