Thursday, May 3, 2012



 Sources of Alternative Energy

Alternative energy or renewable energy is important for creating clean energy future not only for the individual nations but the whole world. It offers excellent alternatives to the fossil fuels to reduce the emissions of carbon dioxide and greenhouse gases. The sources of the alternative energy are inexhaustible and one can rely on them for long-term basis Here are some important sources of alternative energy:
1) Solar energy:

The energy obtained from the radiations of the sun is called as solar energy. Sun is the massive source of energy releasing radiations since billions of years non-stop. The radiations emitted by sun are vital for all the plant, animal and human lives on the earth. At present solar energy is being tapped successfully for a number of applications.

Solar cooker is small box type equipment used for cooking of the food without requiring any additional fuel. There are number of variations of solar cooker with different efficiencies and different sizes. Solar water heaters are used extensively for heating water that can be used for bathing, domestic use and industrial purposes. It saves lots of electricity costs and the burning of other fuels like wood, coal, LPG etc. Another very important application of the solar energy is the photovoltaic or PV cells. The PV cells comprise of the solar panels that absorb solar energy and store them in the batteries. The energy from the batteries can be used for different domestic as well industrial applications

Besides these, there are number of other applications of solar energy like solar street lights, solar lanterns, calculators, mobiles etc. Solar energy is available abundantly in countries like India, China, US and others. It is considered to be one of the most resourceful sources of energy for future.

2) Wind energy:

The energy obtained from naturally flowing wind in the atmosphere is called as wind energy. Wind energy is available extensively in specific geographical locations without any costs. The wind in motion carries kinetic energy and it can be converted into mechanical and electrical energy. Presently wind energy is widely used for the generation of electricity.

To tap the energy from wind turbines are used. The wind turbine comprises of large blades looking like the fan. The blades are attached to the hub, which in turn is mounted on a shaft When the moving wind comes in contact with the blades it causes the rotation of the blades, which in turn causes the rotation of the shaft at low speeds. This shaft is connected to the gear box and causes slow rotation of the input gears and fast rotation of output gears and shaft. The output shaft rotates in an alternator that produces electricity. To get sufficient amount of grid power, large number of wind turbines are required at a specific location, which is called as wind farm or wind power plant.

3) Hydropower:

The power obtained from the flow of water is called as hydraulic power or hydro power or water power. The alternative energy from water can be obtained in a number of ways, the most popular being the hydroelectric power plants. In these power plants huge dams are built across the flow of the river. The water is stored in the dam at large heights and it carries potential energy. When the water flows down the potential energy is converted into kinetic energy. The flowing water comes in contacts with the large water turbines and makes them rotate in the transformer that produces electricity. Hydroelectric power plants are important source of electricity in a number of countries including US, China, India, Russia, and others.

Alternative energy obtained from the tides of the oceans is called as tidal energy. The waves in the waters of the oceans can also be utilized to produce electricity.

4) Geothermal Energy:

The heat energy obtained from the deep layers of earth is called as geothermal energy. The heat is produced continuously in the deep layers of earth, which can be utilized for various purposes like heating water, operating the heat pumps, producing electricity etc. Large amount of heat is generated in the core of earth and it gets conducted through the surrounding layers of rock. It comes to the surface of the earth in various forms like lava, hot springs etc, while other heat is stored below the surface of the earth. This heat is the geothermal energy and is available in unlimited quantity.

5) Biomass energy:

Biomass is the organic material obtained from the plants. The plants absorb energy from the sun by the process of photosynthesis so the energy is store in them. The biomass is the garbage leftover by the plants in the form of fallen leaves, broken branches, dead trees, wood chips, wasted crops etc. A number of other garbage and waste materials can be considered to be biomass. The energy obtained from the biomass is called as the biomass energy.

When the biomass is heated, the chemical energy within it is converted into heat energy, which can be used for heating water, producing steam, cooking food etc. Biomass can also be used to produce the methane gas, which can be used as the fuel. Rotten garbage and human waste can also be considered as biomass that can be used to produce methane, which is called as landfill gas or biogas. Biomass can also be converted biodiesel, which can be mixed with the traditional diesel fuel to run the vehicles.

special thanks to   
Escapeartist, Inc

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