Four sources of Renewable Energy:Solar, Wind, Hydro & Geo-thermal By Eva Lu, Grai Pasawongse, Graham Nedelka and Julia Zephir
Solar Energy Concentrating solar power (CSP)-using mirror to reflect and concentrate sunlight onto receivers that collect solar energy and convert it into heat.
5 parts of CSP Linear concentrator systems – “the goals are to improve the performance and lower the cost of parabolic trough collector systems, support the development of next-generation trough fields, support the expansion of the U.S. trough industry.” Dish/Engine systems – “the goals are to improve the performance and lower the cost of dish/Stirling systems (where a Stirling engine is a specific type of thermodynamic heat engine), provide optical modeling and testing support to the dish/Stirling industry.” Power tower systems
5 parts of CSP part 2 Thermal storage – “the goals are support industry in developing and deploying advanced heat-transfer fluids and thermal storage systems, develop and characterize advanced heat-transfer fluids and thermal-storage materials and systems to reduce storage costs, update and integrate thermal storage cost and performance models into CSP system models.” Advanced components and systems – “the goals are lower costs and improve performance and reliability of solar mirrors, support CSP subcontracts and industry-program needs, primarily characterizing and testing materials developed under these subcontracts, broaden and unify test methods to standardize qualification requirements of CSP materials, components, and systems.”
Some Pictures Dish/Engine Systems Power Tower Systems
Pros for Solar Energy Can generate electricity at a low cost and deliver the power during periods of peak demand. Low cost of thermal storage adds significant value to the energy delivered from CSP plants. Many utilities now included concentrating solar power in power-generation portfolio, helping nation reduce its dependence on fossil fuels.
Cons for Solar Energy Initial cost of Solar cells is high some households may need more than one to generate enough power, making the initial installation of solar panels very costly. Can used to generate electricity only during daylight hours, which mean its only produce energy for the home only one half of the day. The weather can affect the productivity of solar cells. Pollution levels can affect the efficiency of the solar cells.
Geothermal: How it works Closed loop system- horizontal. Residential Water running through two pipes side-by-side in four feet deep trenches heats up from the earth and circulates an exchange for cool water. Most cost effective.
Geothermal Pros Clean energy meaning no burning of fossil fuels such as coal, gas or oil. No emissions. Geothermal energy is available 24 hours a day. and 365 days a year.
Geothermal Cons Extremely expensive- prices ranging from anywhere between $.03-$.70 per kWh. Availability requires the land to heat geothermal fluid to 300° F. Power plants require at least 450-600 gallons of water per minute to generate 1 MW.
Geothermal Technologies Program The Geothermal Technologies Program (GTP)- facilitate research, development, and demonstration to establish geothermal energy as a major contributor for electricity generation.
Hydro Energy It is on the same level with nuclear energy and fossil energy, also like solar and wind energy. If people can use the energy properly, we can protect our environment and develop our long term use resources. The hydrogen energy is a secondary energy, it is the connection of the primary energy and the energy users. This kind of energy such as wind energy, solar energy, and fossil energy has a common that they can produce the primary energy. These kinds of secondary energy is long term are long term usable.
Hydro Energy (cont.) Hydrogen is the most common chemical in the world, there are more than 75% hydrogen in our universe. We can find most of the hydrogen in the sea on earth. If we get all of the hydrogen from the sea and burn them, the heat it brings is going to be greater for 9000 times than all the fossils we can burn.
Hydro Energy and the U.S. Since 2003, president Bush acclaim to move the hydrogen fuel cell from the laboratory to our daily life. U.S. government has spent 1.2 billion and more than 5 years to do it. People are really looking forward to develop the hydrogen energy because it has a great benefit of hydrogen is it can be in different forms, it can be in gas, liquid and metal.
Problems with Hydro Energy It is a secondary energy, which means it is really hard to get. Many countries spend a lot of money to get hydrogen out. It is also hard to store, because it can explode easily so it is hard to transfer.
Future of Hydro Energy Nowadays, US, Japan, Europe is already starts to work on develop the hydrogen energy. The US government’s goal is until 2040, the US is going to use the hydro energy instead of the gas, they going to decrease the gasoline each day for 11 million barrels.
Wind Energy: “It blows” –Mr. Kublbeck Wind turbines convert wind’s kinetic energy into mechanical power. Wind temperature, velocity and density determine the quality of the wind. Denser air will have an impact because it will generate more momentum. Wind power generates less than 1% of the world’s electricity. But it is the fastest growing renewable energy source. It is mainly centered in western Europe. People complain mainly because they think that wind farms are a visual nuisance and the large blades are noisy and can endanger migratory birds and bats. Example of how Wind Turbines work
Advantages of Wind Energy It is a clean fuel source, so it does not pollute the air like power plants that rely on coal or natural gases and the turbines do not produce bad atmospheric emissions that cause the greenhouse gases or acid rain. It is a domestic source of energy, so the U.S. will not have to rely on other countries. Turbines rely on wind which cannot be used up. Wind energy is one of the lower priced renewable energy technologies that is available today. Turbines can benefit the economies in rural areas because they can be built on farms or ranches.
Disadvantages of Wind Energy Wind power costs more than generic electricity and is rather impractical in many areas. Wind is intermittent and does not always blow when electricity is necessary. It cannot be stored without batteries which would add to the overall cost.