Schottenbauer Publishing

Monday, August 3, 2015

Natural Fluctuations in Alternative Energy: Effects of Variable Wind Speed on Turbine Output

Wind turbines are a popular form of alternative energy. Locating an area where the wind speed is high enough and reasonably predictable can be difficult, however. 

What happens when wind speed is not constant? Consider the following graph, excerpted from The Science of Energy Efficiency, available from Schottenbauer Publishing.

Discussion Questions
  1. What is the range of electric current from the wind turbine?
  2. Considering the entire graph, what is the average electric current?
  3. During what time span is the generation of electricity approximately the highest?
  4. During the time span of highest current output, what is the range of current as it fluctuates?
  5. What is the range of electric potential generated by the wind turbine?
  6. What is the average electric potential during the time span of highest current output?

Over 8,000 graphs from Schottenbauer Publishing provide additional real-life topics for student learning, including sports, transportation, construction, environment, music, entertainment/toys, and general physics. 

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