Wind & Solar Energy

Principle of Science: Alternative Energy

This exhibit also explains not only the mechanics of wind power and how it can benefit the environment, but also how wind is created through the heating of air masses by the sun.

Heat is our most important source of energy. Man has learned to regulate heat for his convenience. We heat our homes in winter and air-condition them in summer. We cook and freeze our food. We clothe our bodies and insulate our homes. We use heat to control processing and to produce metals. Our use of heat is endless.

The sun provides us with energy in the form of light and heat, as well as other forms we cannot perceive directly. The heating of air by the sun causes wind – as air is heated it expands, expanding air rises causing cooler air to rush in and take its place. This is wind. Sunlight and wind energy can be harnessed to produce electricity.

Solar, or sun, energy is clean, safe and found within our national boundaries. Best of all, it is abundant and renewable (it will not run out). It has been estimated that enough sunlight falls on the roof of the average suburban home to supply three times as much energy as that home consumes. The potential is there and the challenge is ours.