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A Windy New Energy Source

COMMUNITY CENTERGreen EducationOct 2, 2014Elizabeth Vaughn

Author: Elizabeth Vaughn

There’s a breath of fresh air blowing through Chesapeake and it’s coming from Grassfield High School.  It’s a wind turbine!  The new structure has been in the works for years but finally came to fruition over the summer.  The turbine is expected to help power the concession area at the football stadium, greatly reducing electricity costs for the school.  Plus, students in the school’s STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math) Academy will get to study the benefits of this alternative power.  The wind turbine was funded by the Chesapeake Public Schools Educational Foundation, with support from many business partners and of course, a strong fundraising effort by the students at Grassfield High.

So how exactly does wind become electricity?  Let me break it down for you in a way that even my own non-science brain can understand.  The main components of the turbine are the blades, the shaft and the generator.  When the wind blows, it moves the blades.  Those blades are connected to the shaft which spins inside the turbine.  The spinning shaft is connected to a generator which then produces the energy!  (You know that generator you bought in case of hurricanes?  It probably requires gas to produce energy.  This one doesn’t need gas but uses the power of the wind instead.)   Sounds simple, doesn’t it?  I’ll admit there are a few more details to that process but you get the gist!

Here’s a quick math problem to throw in there for good measure.  Wind + Turbine = Electricity to cook you a hotdog on game day.

Now that’s a delicious and efficient use of energy.