Wind Turbines and Cumulous Clouds
When I was a kid, we bought those little colored pinwheel spinners for practically nothing. They were sold in dime stores, and given away as prizes at carnivals that traveled the country. Pinwheels were plastic fans attached to a stick handle. More fancy models are still sold as toys and yard décor.
We used to run to force wind into them, creating the spinning action. The faster the runner, the faster the little pinwheel would go. I even had one attached as a nose cone to a scrap-wood toy plane I had constructed.
Today, giant wind driven turbines use a 3-bladed “pinwheel” to capture wind energy and convert it to electricity. Such “pinwheel” farms now dot the landscape across much of the country where wind is not blocked by geographic features. Most wind turbines seen along our highways are white, but perhaps someone will decide to use different designs or colors in the future. An imaginative future artist will likely use the blades to create some kind of linear picture in the sky.
According to a recent Huffington Post news release, citing a market report by The American Wind Energy Association, “wind power supports a record 88,000 jobs — a 20 percent increase over last year. Today, wind — the fastest-growing energy source — provides nearly 5 percent of the nation’s electricity supply, according to the U.S. Department of Energy Wind Program.”
Those little toy pinwheels have gone big time! Thousands of wind turbines like those in this photograph, taken near Adrian TX, dot our landscape—slowly revolving under wind-driven clouds. Pinwheels in the sky.