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Modern Advances and Applications of Wind Energy Wind is the natural movement of air across the land or sea Wind is caused by uneven heating and cooling of the earths surface and by the earths rotation Land and water areas absorb and release different amount of hear received from the sun As warm air rises cooler air rushes in to take its place causing local winds The rotation of the earth changes the direction of the flow of air This produces prevailing winds including Hawaiis trade winds Surface features such as mountains and valleys can change the direction and speed of prevailing winds Wind power is harnessing the wind with turbines to produce mechanical power of electricity Wind is form of solar power because the sun initially creates wind through its heating and cooling of the atmosphere This heating and cooling process forms jet streams and wind currents Through modern advances in energy collection we have learned to harness the abundant amount of clean energy by means of windmills The basic process in which this works is as follows The wind turns the blades of a windmill-like machine The rotating blades turn the shaft to which they are attached The turning shaft typically can either power a pump or turn a generator which produces electricity For producing large amounts of electricity many machines can be grouped together to from a wind farm Most wind machines have vertical blades attached to a horizontal shaft This shaft transmits power through a series of gears which provide power to a water pump or electric generator However the Darrieus wind machine a special type has two or three long curved blades on a vertical shaft It resembles a giant eggbeater shape The Darrieus machine provides ease of maintenance as the operating gears and controls are located close to the ground but it needs power assistance to start running The amount of energy produced by
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