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Lesson 06 – Using Wind to Produce Electricity

Read About How Wind Produces Energy


Can you find where all the definitions are in the text?


Copper is a soft pinkish-orange metal that is a good conductor of heat and electricity and is used to make pipes and wires.


Electricity is a form of energy that has positive and negative forms that occur naturally (such as in lightning) or can be produced (such as in a generator) and is the result of electrons moving and interacting together.


Gears are toothed machine parts that interconnect with other toothed machine parts and rotate to transmit motion or to change speed or direction.


A gearbox is a mechanical device that is used to increase the force or change the speed of a motor.


A generator is a machine that transforms one form of energy into another; for example, changing mechanical energy such as wind or steam into electrical energy.


Pollution is harmful materials that are put into, or leak into, soil, water, or air and make it unclean.

Wind Farm

A wind farm is a large area on land or water that is made up of many wind turbines that are used to produce electricity.

Wind Turbine/Windmill

Wind turbines are machines that run on energy that is produced by wind that is pushing against and rotating metal or wooden blades.

Using Wind to Produce Electricity

People have used wind power for centuries. Early windmills turned grinding stones that crushed grain into flour. Today we use windmills to create electricity.

How Wind Turbines Work

You can think of a wind turbine as the opposite of a fan. A fan uses electricity to make its blades turn, and the turning blades produce moving air. A wind turbine uses moving air (wind) to turn its blades. The movement of the blades produces electricity.

    1. Wind turns the windmill’s blades.
    2. The blades turn the main shaft (rod) attached to them.
    3. Gears in the gear box speed up the spinning motion. The second shaft then spins even faster. The faster the magnets spin, the more electricity is produced.
    4. The turbine shaft and magnets spin very quickly inside the generator.
    5. As the magnets spin, charge builds up in coils of copper wire. This creates electricity.
    6. The electricity travels along wires to where it is needed.

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Wind Farms

A wind farm is a place that has a lot of wind turbines. The area must be flat and open, with a lot of wind. A wind farm can be built over water, such as a lake or ocean.

Advantages of Wind Turbines
Disadvantages of Wind Turbines
Advantages of Wind Turbines

•  create electricity

•  do not create pollution

•  many possible locations

Disadvantages of Wind Turbines

•  noisy

•  can be seen from quite far away

•  turning blades can kill or injure birds and bats

To learn more about wind farms, watch the video by Super Simple Play on Youtube.

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Complete some questions about the reading selection by clicking “Begin Questions” below.