Wind Energy in Southeastern Idaho

Dr. Stephen B Turcotte
Brigham Young University Idaho

In the Snake River Valley of Idaho, wind speed data from over forty anemometers is made available on the web. This data has been used by wind power developers and has led to recent construction of wind farms in the area. This presentation will focus on the use of the wind speed data for educational purposes. The data can be used to illustrate a wide variety of physics principles. The raw data can be used to discuss distributions, turbulence, and wind shear. Studying the interaction of the wind with a turbine leads to a discussion of Faraday's Law, the dependence of power on wind velocity, conservation of energy, and the relationship of power and energy.