Home T+C Assessment Bibliography Component 1 Component 3
Team Design Glossary Component 2


Component 1

NCT- Energy
Sub Category- Renewable Energy
Technical Application- Ocean Turbines

Task One: Describe in detail the problem your team selected and explain why it is important for your team to investigate the problem.

The problem we are trying to solve is mass power outages taking place during and after hurricanes and major natural disasters. Heavy storms in places all over the nation destroy anything that is in their paths, whether it is a school, a home, or even people. On September 4th, five million people in Florida were without power at one point due to just one hurricane, Frances (Aron 2007). One main result of storms that is problematic is the large outages due to power lines coming down. The average peak number of people without power was 278,029, on average they were without power for 5.6 days (Edison Electric Institute, 2003). This study was done through the years of 1989 and 2003. We believe this problem is important to our team because it affects us entirely. Living in Florida, we all have experienced the force and power that hurricanes bestow upon us. This is why we care so greatly about this problem.

Task Two: Describe how your team decided on the problem you are investigating and explain what steps you took to narrow the focus of your investigation.

Our team came to this decision by talking things through. We were put into groups and almost everyone wanted to do something with renewable energy. One article said that Sukkur, Khairpur experienced an eight hour power outage August 10, 2007. During that time both the pumps and cable stopped functioning. The article also tells that a damaged transformer cable was the cause of the outage. With this information in mind, we narrowed down our possible options until we found a suitable investigation,in hopes of solving our problem: Finding a way to replace home power when there's a power outage. First we came to the decision that we were going to focus on wind and hydroelectric power. Then we changed it from hydroelectric to ocean energy as one of our mentors, James Wilson, suggested. We all decided that because ocean energy is so new and unknown, we should put it in our project to better inform readers. This will make our project more interesting to people that don?t know much about ocean energy and what a difference it could make.

Task Three: Locate and document (using facts and figures) and describe how: two geographic sites or two population groups have been affected by the problem your team identified.

New Jersey on August 14, 2003 is an example of a geographic site affected by a major power outage. It could?ve either been a lightening strike in the region that caused the power failure or the fire at the regional power plant stopped the power. Either way, this power outage stopped trains, elevators and the normal flow of traffic and life. At least 250,000 of the 1 million people living in New Jersey stayed in the dark (CNN, 2003). Another place that experienced a major power outage was Virginia during Hurricane Isabel. The hurricane?s eye neared the area and knocked out power to more than 1 million people, leaving around 67,000 homes without power (CNN, 2003).

Locate and document (using facts and figures) and describe how: two organizations, educational institutions or research facilities are doing significant research to solve the problem your team identified.

Northwestern University and Alliant Energy are both working together to prevent power outages throughout the nation. Alliant Energy believes that if you trim trees before storms and take proper precautions in preparing for the worst, you will be prepared overall (Alliant, 2006). Northwestern University is working to use wind turbines and hydropower to keep power running, just as our group is. The National Renewable Energy Laboratory set up the National Wind Technology Center to accommodate 16 wind turbines to generate five megawatts of power. The Advanced Hydropower Technology activity or AHT is making great strides in hydropower technology. They would like their projects to generate more with less pollution.

Task Four: Document (using two different sources based on facts and figures) what effect this problem has on people?s lives.

Power outages can have effects on people?s lives. At 2 pm, August 14, 2003, a major power outage struck U.S and Canadian cities, and people had to move out of their homes and into the streets for a while. In western parts of the United States and some parts of Mexico, a blackout hit on August 11th, 1996. Over 4 million people were out of power for up to 10 hours (Pender, 2005). The total for Hurricane Frances power recovery was about $4 billion









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?2008 CAT#07-1715 • Last Update:February 29, 2008 • Contact-Project Advisor-Dicus