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Wind and Solar Energy


Sunlight hits a photovoltaic cell (aka a solar panel) ... plant with a large array of solar panels using the different focusing techniques ... – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: Wind and Solar Energy

Wind and Solar Energy
  • Matt Rhoney Marty Dubin

Overview to Wind
  • Energy created by using the natural air currents
    of the Earth
  • Relatively inexpensive compared with other
    alternative fuel sources
  • It is a perpetual fuel source

  • Hub- The piece of the propeller to which the
    blades are attached the center point
  • Blades- The (usually 3) outer pieces of the
    propeller which spin with the wind
  • Gear Box Transmission- As wind speed increases,
    this will step up the gear to handle the higher
    speed of the propeller (much like an automotive

  • Brake- Usually for emergency use only, if the
    rotor spins too fast for the generator to handle
    the speed.
  • Drive Shaft- Connects the transmission to the
    generator, and spins the magnet in the generator.
  • Generator- A magnet rotates in the generator,
    creating an electromagnetic field and thus
    creating electricity.

  • Wind turbines do not produce any greenhouse
  • It is less expensive over a long period of time
  • Net metering Customers pay retail price for the
    electricity they use, and sell back the unused
    energy back to the provider.
  • Life Cycle costs beat out all other alternative
    fuel types.
  • These can be used in large scale wind farms, or
    as single structures in very rural areas in order
    to generate power for farms.
  • It will be less expensive as further developments
    are made (several are made each year.)

(Environmental) Problems
  • Some bird populations will suffer, especially
    with endangered species who may only live in high
    wind areas.
  • Like all power sources, wind generators do
    produce a certain level of noise during
    operation, which can become a problem near
    concentrated wind farms.
  • The large size required to capture the higher,
    less turbulent winds are becoming an unsightly
    problem with residents near these structures.
  • Wind is not a constant. There is still
    speculation over what will happen during low wind
  • Wind farms can be very space-consuming and
    destructive to land.

The Contraption
Companies and Communities
  • NWTC (National Wind Technology Center)
  • To maximum energy output at minimum cost
  • Main Problem testing is pricey with the
    continuous ordering of materials.
  • Wind technology has only been tested on small
    societies located in high-wind areas
  • Vermont, North Dakota, and Wyoming to name a few.
  • Successful in small communities with high-wind
  • Has not been tested on large communities.

Solar Power
  • Well, its simply taking energy giving by the sun
    and turning it into useable energy through
    multiple devices

Basic Methods
  • Sunlight hits a photovoltaic cell (aka a solar
  • Sunlight hits a solar sail on a space craft and
    or satellite which acts as a force to move the

  • Point Focus involves use of a parabolic dish or
    a lens to focus the beam of light, intensifying
    the energy and aiming it at the photovoltaic
  • Line Focus a series of mirrors placed in line
    to capture and direct light directly into
    photovoltaic cells or tube containing a heat
    transferring liquid

Obtaining the Energy
  • The most common way to absorb the energy is
    through photovoltaic cells or solar panel arrays
  • Their use has mainly been for small appliances
    due to high cost but now cost and tax rebate
    incentives have given rise to more common uses
    such as lowering ones electric bill
  • Another source is a Solar Power Plant which is
    simply put, a large power plant with a large
    array of solar panels using the different
    focusing techniques
  • One technique is a parabolic trough this is a
    series of mirrors which are curved and exposed to
    the sunlight all day focusing the light onto a
    tube which contains a a fluid which then absorbs
    the heat. The largest solar energy system in the
    USA is currently the SEGS system which uses oil
    to transfer the heat. The oil then passes
    through a heat exchanger which creates steam
    which then in turn powers a steam turbine

Obtaining the Energy Contd
  • Another well used technique is the Dish system
  • In this system a dish, similar to a satellite
    dish focuses light into a thermal collector above
    the dish.
  • This system is able to achieve a higher
    temperature thus a higher energy output due to
    the increased light it receives
  • The dish is then generally coupled to some sort
    of engine, be it a steam or Stirling engine
  • These then create kinetic energy which is then
    converted to electricity through an electric
  • Energy from both techniques is typically stored
    in batteries but storage further increases the
    energy loss. One way being attempted is to
    directly input the energy into the power grid

Advantages and Disadvantages
  • Lower electric bills
  • Lower use of fossil fuels
  • Decreased amount of pollutants being produced and
  • Tax Rebates
  • Low cost energy
  • High production cost
  • Large space required
  • Exponential change in consumer living
  • Not feasible for large scale nation power source
    as of now
  • Locations of plants must be individually selected
    with a specific requirements

Solar Power Plant Basics
  • Wind Resources. U.S. Dept. of Energy Energy
    Efficiency and Renewable Energy. Available at Accessed 2/15/06
  • AWEA (American Wind Energy Association), 2004,
    Wind Energy and the Environment, Wind Web
    Tutorial. Available at http//
    torial/wwt_environment.html. Accessed 2/15/06
  • http//
    e. Accessed 2/16/06
  • Main Components of a Wind Turbine. Wind Energy
    Systems. Iowa Energy Center. Available at Accessed 2/16/06