Theme summary: Renewables

Website support document:  

Theme: Renewables 

Topic: Wind Power: KS4 and 5 (estimated time for average student 40min) 

Web Slide set: Wind: How significant for our future 

Alasdair is a Lancaster Physics Graduate who always wanted to work in sustainability and loves his job. He is an operational analyst working from Chester and overseas Community Power’s wind farms in Scotland. 

A nice link to GridWatch which gives the current % of electricity generation. 

Good homework exercise with lots of information from Alasdair about wind farms and the design and positions of wind turbines. There is a KS4 calculation to find out how many homes can be supplied with electrical power from a wind farm using Energy = Power x time (kWh) 

There is a sequence which develops the turbine equation from a descriptive viewpoint from the KE equation. 

There are 4 interview videos: 

Alasdair introduces himself (2.16) 

Alasdair describing wind turbine design (5.35) 

Alasdair and the environmental impact of wind turbines (2.47) 

Alastair describes his job (6.41) 

Summary scorecard / 25  

Topic: Wave energy converters: KS4  (estimated time for average student 10min) 

Web Slide set: Wave energy converters: 

Prof George Aggidis chats about his favourite design in wave energy converters. The TALOS uses the principle of Newton’s 1st law and the concept of inertia.  

The slide set includes a drag and drop summary question. 

Video time: 3.19 

Scorecard: /6 

 Topic: Tidal energy vs Wind Energy: KS4  (estimated time for average student 10min) 

Web Slide set: Tidal energy vs wind energy 

Prof Aggidis explains why we are so far behind with the development of tidal turbines compared to wind turbines. 

There is a drag and drop summary question and a good challenging one on the size of the tidal turbine blades compared to the wind turbines 

Video 3.37 

Scorecard/ 7 

 Topic: Tidal Barrages: KS4  (estimated time for average student 20min) 

Web Slide set: Tidal Barrages in the NW 

Activity: This is a great question for REVISION PE, efficiency, and density. 

Prof Aggidis explains the need for tidal barrages due to rising sea levels and flooding. He gives examples of the power which could be generated in the NW which is compares to a nuclear power station.  

There follows a summary drag and drop question and then a calculation of the power generation from a proposed tidal lagoon of the North Wales coast. The mechanism of the lagoon is explained and then the slides carefully go through the power calculation which involve the concepts/equations of density, PE and efficiency. 

Video: 7.26 

Scorecard/ 12 

Topic: Energy from the sun: KS4 and 5  (estimated time for average student 30min) 

Web Slide set: Energy from the sun 

Activity: GCSE: good for solar power and intro to photons; A level: good for energy level and how PV panels work 

This slide set introduces the student to various aspects of solar energy. The questions are carefully worded so the energy stories meet with the “stores and pathways” model. The principles of the solar panels are explained, and the photon model of light introduced. Some good summary questions test the students’ understanding. 

Then the conceptual difficulty steps up a gear when Dr Lefteris Danos explains his research on how to make solar panels more efficient by adding layers of different materials. 

There are summary questions to test the student understanding and a question on how much area is need for future solar farms in the UK. 

Video 1.38: explains photon harvesting 

Video 2.37: explains how the future of solar panels will improve efficiency. 

Scorecard is 35 

Great question for A level when introducing photons.