Posted by: admin | April 7, 2009

Harnessing the Wind

modernwindmills1At IDT Energy we hope to educate people about alternative sources of energy production. As the hub of world trend-setting, New York and its citizens should know about the different types of renewable energy that are in use today.

One new source of energy, which isn’t really new at all, is wind energy. We are all familiar with windmills which have been used for centuries to grind wheat and other grains, and sailing ships which harness wind energy.

In the early settlement of America colonists used windmills not just for grinding grains, but also for pumping water and cutting wood at sawmills. Even as late as the 1920’s windmills were even used to generate electricity in outlying areas where there was no electric service yet.

Wind is mysterious. It can’t be seen except through the other things which it moves, but it certainly can be felt. Wind is simply the motion of air, which is caused when the air temperature is different in different places.

As the sun beats down on the earth during the daylight hours the air above water heats up more slowly than air over land. At night the air over land cools more quickly than air over water. Since warmer air rises while cooler air falls, this movement is what creates wind that we can turn into energy.

This effect is global and not just local, as air near the equator is heated up much more than air near the poles.

Wind is used today mostly to produce electricity, and is very definitely a renewable source of energy, as it owes is production to the effects of the sun on the surface of the earth and its atmosphere.

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