Eagle Times Bulletin

  • 2017-2018 School year begins Monday, August 28, 2017

Solar and Wind Power

Emily Brubaker, Writer

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Using solar panels and wind turbines, collecting energy from the sun and wind, accumulated power regenerates into electricity.

Made up of photovoltaic cells, solar panels convert sunlight into direct current electricity throughout the day. An inverter converts the DC electricity generated by the solar panels into the alternating current electricity. Afterward, the inverter sends the AC electricity to an electrical panel to power lights and appliances with solar energy.

Solar power remains the third most important renewable energy resource in terms of globally installed capacity. The use of solar energy in the U.S. has grown more common in the last decade, including in the residential sector thanks to smart financial programs. Solar leasing and power purchase agreements allow homeowners to go solar without upfront costs.

Likewise, wind turns the blades of a turbine, spinning a shaft, which connects to a generator to make electricity. Wind turbines convert the kinetic energy in the wind into mechanical energy. Using the mechanical energy for specific tasks such as grinding grain or pumping water, a generator can also convert this mechanical power into electricity.

Wind turbines can stand on land or offshore in large bodies of water such as oceans or lakes. Although the United States does not have any offshore turbines, still the Department of Energy continues to work on funding efforts to make this technology available in the United States.

Ranging in size, large wind turbines remain grouped together on wind farms, providing bulk power to the electrical grid. Single small turbines can power homes, telecommunication dishes, or water pumping.

Thus, solar power and wind energy can range in their use, either large or small scale to generate electricity using the natural energy from the sun and wind.

Solar power and wind power–saving the earth one step at a time!

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Solar and Wind Power