Catch the Wind

The very strong winds of the past week have provided us with the opportunity to observe and record wind related data. Wind is the movement of the air. As air moves for an area of high pressure to an area of low pressure it creates wind. Wind can be gentle as a breeze but it can also be so strong and powerful that it can blow down buildings and cause a great deal of damage.
A family had a miraculous escape when a strong gale caused a two hundred old elm tree to fall on their house last week.The tree is reputed to have weighed as much as twenty tonnes.
If you look carefully at the base of the trunk you can observe a circular black area, this indicates that decay had spread up through the center of the trunk. This decay would have weakened the tree and made it easier for the high winds to knock it over.

We are participating in Greenwave project in which students all over Ireland track the arrival of Spring in the country. We used their directions to make our own anemometer. The cups of the anemometer rotate with the wind and so gives us an idea od the speed or force of the wind. The first day we used it the strong crosswinds damaged one of the arms so we had to rethink our design.

This is a close up of our anemometer

Humans have harnessed the power of the wind to do work for us. Sailors use sails to capture the power of the wind and get their yachts moving. Nowadays the power of the wind is being used to generate electricity and create energy to heat our homes. Wind is a source of renewable energy but unfortunately it isn’t always reliable. Can you think why?

In the 19th century an Irishman Admiral Sir Francis Beaufort created a standardised system for measuring the force of the wind. This system is known as the Beaufort scale. Click here to find a drawing of the Beauford scale

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