The Power of Wind Farms

Yesterday, my day both began and ended with the California sun moving through a horizon speckled with wind turbines. As humans we have only to thank Sol for our existence. We’ve come a long way in terms of mechanized energy efficiency. Seeing these two great power sources together lead me to wonder: How much power do we get from wind farms? How much power does one wind turbine produce?

To understand the energy intake of wind turbines we should take a closer look as to what is actually happening inside to harness this electricity. An anemometer gauges the speed and the direction of the wind. The wind speed information is then passed through to a controller. This device turns the turbines on, points the turbine’s blades in the most fortuitous direction, and when the wind speed is too high (over 55 mph) or too low (under 8-16 depending) it adjusts accordingly.

The turbine blades are directly connected to an electrical generator which creates electricity. A simple generator does this by spinning a magnet inside of copper wiring. The generators used in wind turbines are obviously more sophisticated though they have the same effect.

So how much electricity can one wind turbine create? Wind Energy America states that

Typically modern turbines range in size from 660 kilowatts to over 3 megawatts of capacity. They are placed in fairly windy locations with minimum wind speeds in the range of six meters per second (around 13 miles per hour). Wind turbines generally run at 30 to 40 percent capacity, so a 1 MW turbine could produce around 3 million KWh of electricity in a year.

The amount of wind in an area plays a huge role in how much energy is produced. So if you’re in a windy part of the country it is time to ask yourself: Is this a viable option for me?

Sources:

Inside a Wind Turbine

Wind Energy America FAQs

Simple Generator

Huge Rise in Skin Cancer Among Young Women

The Mayo Clinic has found that over the course of nearly 40 years from 1970 to 2009 a dramatic rise in skin cancer has occurred.  To be exact, an eight fold increase in women, and a four fold increase in men!

Most alarming is the frighteningly spiked increase of melanoma found in women in their 20’s and 30’s.

I think for many of us, this is no surprise.  There are multiple tanning salons in nearly every city and town.  The desire to have a tanned complexion has become a social epidemic.

I have news for you girls; orange is not a good look, and cancer is even worse.  Any guy who prefers a fake tan on his partner is either legally blind, extremely sadistic, or entirely brainwashed.  Drop him, and find a man that likes you for you.

I have heard many women claim that they just happen to like the way tanning makes them look.  According to the  study “people who use indoor tanning beds frequently are 74 percent more likely to develop melanoma.”  Is the orange glow really worth the risk?

It’s time to alter our conceptions of beauty and opt for happy, healthy lives instead.  That or just dive in to the melanoma pool and lead a life like this woman.