Video: Understanding the Transfer of Energy in Wind Turbines

Wind turbines convert the _ energy of the moving air to _ energy.

01:25

Video Transcript

Wind turbines convert the blank energy of the moving air to blank energy.

Okay, in this exercise, we want to fill in the blanks in this sentence. And we can tell that the sentence has to do with converting energy from one form to another. In particular, it’s talking about how wind turbines work and take some type of energy associated with moving air and convert it to another type of energy. If we think about this moving air, we realise that air in motion is air molecules in motion. And since molecules have mass, what we have when the wind blows is we have mass in motion. The type of energy associated with motion is called kinetic energy. Since the moving air is in motion, it has this type of energy. So we’ll write that in in the first blank in our sentence. Now, our sentence reads, wind turbines convert the kinetic energy of the moving air to blank energy.

To see how to fill in this second blank, we can recall the general purpose of wind turbines. These turbines are designed to produce energy that can be fed into the national grid and then used by homes and businesses. The type of energy that goes into this grid is electrical energy. That’s the most useful form of energy that wind turbines can produce. Now that we have both blanks filled in our sentence reads, wind turbines convert the kinetic energy of the moving air to electrical energy. This is how they take a less useful form of energy, the air’s kinetic energy, and convert it to a more useful form, electrical.

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