Science is a breeze

The average wind speed in Minneapolis is 10 miles per hour (mph), equal to the Windy City of Chicago, according to worldfactsandfigures.com. While that makes Minneapolis a less-than-ideal location for a wind turbine, it is still good setting for a wind turbine workshop!

Huge Wind Turbine BladeMichael Arquin of the KidWind Project will offer his insight into a “Wind Turbine Challenge: How to Hold One in Your State or Region” on Oct. 29. A former sixth grade science teacher, Arquin promises to share lesson plans and practical guides. The workshop is targeted to middle and high school teachers and informal educators. The KidWind website promises the workshop will provide “an introduction to wind energy science and technology.”

Wind energy is one possible way to reduce America’s reliance on fossil fuels. Did you know the average turbine on a wind farm generates 1.5 – 2 MW (Megawatts) of electricity? That’s enough to power 450-600 homes in the United States. In Germany, where homes consume less energy, that turbine could power up to 1,500 homes.

In case you were wondering, Fort Lauderdale and Phoenix, with average wind speeds of 10 and 6 mph respectively, wouldn’t be good locations for wind farms, either. To be efficient, turbines need to be located in areas with an average annual wind speed of at least 13 mph.

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