I decided today to describe in detail the alternative energy because I think it is important to also be informed in detail about what they tell us and who want the media to show us!We begin by saying that for alternative energy, or alternative energy sources, we mean all the alternative energy sources to the use of fossil fuels (non-renewable energy sources). Sometimes alternative energy sources are assimilated to renewable energy sources. But the two terms are not synonyms. In fact, renewable energies are a subset of alternative energies, which include all types of energy production that do not use fossil fuels (coal, oil, natural gas).
Types of Alternative Energy Some alternative energy sources are for example:
solar energy (electricity or heat generated by the Sun)
hydraulic energy (energy produced by water, thanks to hydroelectric plants)
marine energy (energy produced by waves or tides)
wind energy (electrical or mechanical energy obtained from wind kinetic energy)
geothermal energy (energy produced by the heat of the Earth)
energy from biomass (energy produced from wood, wood residues, biofuels, biodiesel, biogas ..)
nuclear energy (energy produced by nuclear fission or nuclear fusion)
Solar energy: Solar energy is the energy that is produced thanks to the direct exploitation of the energy radiated by the Sun on Earth, collected and accumulated by solar panels. Solar energy is a clean energy coming from the Sun. It is a renewable source of energy.
The sun is the star par excellence that naturally supplies heat to our planet Earth. In fact, inside the sun, thermonuclear reactions are constantly occurring, at very high temperatures that reach 15 million degrees centigrade. Such thermonuclear fusions release very high amounts of energy in the form of electromagnetic radiation and only a small part of this radiant energy arrives on earth. The energy that the sun makes to arrive on earth varies from place to place, from season and also from hour to hour.
Water Energy: hydroelectric energy, also called hydraulic energy or water energy, is the kind of energy that originates by exploiting the movement of large masses of falling water. The mass of water, falling, produces kinetic energy which, thanks to a turbine and an alternator, is then transformed into electricity. A brief summary of the fundamental elements used in the production of hydraulic energy:
- Large mass of water Difference in height or in altitude compared to where the Central is built
- The water is precipitated down from the height in which it has accumulated (dam)
- From the jump you get hydraulic energy that is sent to the plant
- Hydraulic energy becomes mechanical at the turbine axis
- As the turbines drive the alternators, electrical energy is obtained at the alternator terminals
The electrical energy generated by the transformation of mechanical energy is then distributed to civil, domestic and industrial users.
Marine energy: The Earth is covered with 75% of water and the seas and oceans can be exploited to obtain energy (this is called marine energy and ocean energy). The ways to produce energy from salt water sources are different.
- Tides: using the difference in the water level that is created between high and low tides
- Marine currents and waves: the kinetic energy obtainable from their movement
- Salinity: the difference in pressure due to variations in salinity (given for example by the mixture of fresh and salt water near rivers mouths)
- Thermal gradient: thermal energy that derives from the temperature difference between the surface of the ocean and the underlying layers.
Wind Energy: wind energy is the kind of energy (which can be electricity or mechanical energy) that is obtained by converting the kinetic energy of the wind. The energy that the wind possesses is called wind energy (the term “wind” derives from Greek mythology, Aeolus was in fact the god of winds). Commonly the wind is moving air, moving air. Advantages and Disadvantages of Wind Energy.
Advantages and Disadvantages of Wind Energy:
- Wind energy is a renewable and clean source with no CO2 emissions
- Wind technology is quite mature, it is also offering many new specialized jobs
- The cost of wind energy is proportional to the size of the wind turbines, but the power increases more than linearly.
- The energy produced is intermittent as solar energy, can reduce fuel consumption, can not replace the energy needs, but is flanked by the various types of RES (sources of renewable energy)
- Environmental impact is only visual Noise, interference on telecommunications and effects on flora and fauna should be considered in the design phase. The number of birds that die as a result of wind farms is much lower than the number of birds that died on electric poles or because of road traffic.
- The noise of wind turbines can be mitigated by improving the design of the inclination of the blades, their shape and the acoustic insulation of the spacecraft. Near the inhabited centers an aerogenerator does not have to generate noises above 45 decibels (which correspond to speaking in a low voice)
- The wind speed also depends on the shape of the ground. For example, if the ground is rough, with steep slopes, this reduces wind speed
- The ideal location for a wind farm must be a site with little rough terrain and slopes between 6 and 16 degrees
- The wind must be present almost all year round and must blow at least at speeds of 5, 5 m / s (which correspond, in the Beaufort scale, to a breeze, force 3)
- For offshore parks the wind speed must exceed 7-8 m / s (lively breeze, force 4) and suitable sites must have shallow water (40-50 m) and the systems must be located at least 3 km from the it costs.
Geothermal energy:with the term geothermal energy we want to understand the energy, in the form of heat, possessed by the Earth inside it. In the deepest areas this heat can reach temperatures up to 4000 ° C. The heat of the earth is completely natural, especially of very high quantity and is always present, it is not intermittent and is inexhaustible. For this reason, geothermal energy is considered a renewable source of energy. In some areas the water and gases heated in the subsoil rise up to the surface under high pressure in the form of geysers or dandelions and can be used for the production of electricity.
How does geothermal energy work?
Typically, by its nature, the Earth has a thermal gradient that increases by 3 ° C on average every 100 meters of depth; the more it goes deeper the more the temperature increases. In the depth of summer it is cooler than the surface, while in winter the reverse occurs: deeper it is warmer than on the earth’s surface. This source of natural energy can only be used in certain limited territorial contexts. In some particular areas the characteristic of increasing the temperature with increasing depth tends to increase and the temperature of the subsoil is slightly higher than average, due to volcanic or tectonic phenomena.
Advantages and disadvantages:
The main advantage is that it is a renewable and therefore clean energy source, which does not involve damage and pollution to the environment. It also allows the recycling of waste, resulting in savings. Another advantage is its availability. Among the cons, we find the fact that usually the geothermal plants produce an unpleasant smell (similar to that of rotten eggs), and this could therefore create problems for those who live nearby. Another possible disadvantage is the landscape impact of these plants.
Biomass is defined as any product of agricultural cultivation and forestation, any residue of the wood and paper industry, all organic products deriving from the biological activity of animals and humans, such as those contained in urban waste. More generally, a biomass is all that of animal and plant origin that is produced on Earth based on a life cycle. Biomass is therefore defined as any substance of organic, vegetable or animal origin destined for energy purposes. Biomasses come essentially from three supply chains:
- wood supply chain
- supply chain of agriculture, even from special crops (sunflower, rape and soy)
- supply chain of waste and waste
The waste from agricultural activities called biomass is reused in special thermal power stations to produce electricity. Getting energy from biomass can eliminate waste produced by human activities, produce electricity and reduce dependence on fossil sources such as oil.
After all this detailed description I want to conclude by saying that the sources of alternative energy are important for the sustainable development of our planet and are the most accredited solution by experts and researchers for the energy future of humanity.
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