Exploration of Energy Resources

Exploration of Energy Resources
Energy consists of many types of categories:
Sound Energy
Heat Energy
Light Energy
Electrical Energy
Kinetic Energy
Chemical Energy
Nuclear Energy
Gravitational Potential Energy
Elastical Potential Energy
The conservation of energy law states: It is not possible to create or destroy energy. What disappears in one form must re-appear in another. What are energy resources? Energy resources occur in many different states, renewable and non-renewable. There are, fossil fuels, which consists of oil, gas and coal. There are also resources that generate electrical energy, which is then transferred into the energy needed. Examples of these are, hydroelectric power; wind power; geothermal energy and more, later discussed in this project. I mentioned these words previously: Renewable and Non-renewable. What do they mean? Well, it is very simple. Renewable means when energy resources are being replaced constantly, like solar power, we never run out of the sun. Non-renewable means when energy resources cannot be replaced easily and quickly, like fossil fuels, they take millions of years to be produced. I am sure any one would think if we have renewable sources of energy then why use fossil fuels, well I think you might be surprised how much oil some countries use. Later on in the project I think you might see the rate of reliability when using renewable sources. I will now explain to you the different types of energy resources and the advantages and disadvantages involved. Solar Power: Solar power is energy that is produced by our sun. It is the oldest and most efficient form of renewable energy. The first and probably most important way is the ability of the sun to produce electricity. This is achieved by the use of photovoltaic panels. These panels are primarily made out of silicon, phosphorus and boron. When the sun?s rays strike the panels, the combination of these materials produces electricity. This electricity is sent to a battery where it is stored for use. The stored energy can be used to operate computers, lights, televisions, heaters, air conditioners, cars and even video games. And this all occurs without any damage to our environment. Another way the sun can be used is to heat water. This simple and efficient way of using the sun is called solar thermal technology. It can and is used to heat water for schools and homes and produce electricity for power companies. When the sun?s rays hit certain types of materials such as copper and aluminium, they become very hot. Lining containers with copper and aluminium can produce very high temperatures. As water flows through these containers it is heated. This heated water can be used for pool water, shower water or to heat homes. Solar power is used to produce electrical energy, heat energy and generate electrical energy through turning turbines by steam If the water is heated long enough it will boil, producing steam. This steam can be used to turn a turbine, which can produce electricity. This is also another use for solar power. Advantages:
Does not run out quickly and easily so it is renewable
Solar power can be used to heat things instead of burning coal to
produce steam
It is free
No fuel needed and it does not give off any waste or pollution
Disadvantages: ? Does not work at night ? Very expensive to produce solar power stations ? Can be unreliable unless in a sunny climate Geothermal Energy: Geothermal energy is the natural heat of the earth stored deep below the earth?s surface. The energy is found near areas where volcanic activity has taken place, either recently or many years ago. It can be in the form of steam, hot liquid, or hot dry rock. Wells drilled deep into the ground bring steam and hot water to the surface. We do not have enough hot springs on the earth?s surface and many of the wells have run dry in a short period. Geothermal energy is the earths heat. It rises as steam, which is used to turn generators to make electricity. Advantages:
Geothermal energy can be used instead of fossil fuels to produce
electricity. Replacing fossil fuels will reduce the amount of air
pollutants, which can cause acid rain and contribute to global
warming
Geothermal energy is believed to exist in large amounts. It does
not have to be imported
Use of geothermal energy as a source of electricity will help
reduce the dependence on fossil fuels for electrical power
generation
In some places direct-use geothermal heat has been used
successfully to aid agricultural production; to dry lumber, fruits
and vegetables; and to assist certain manufacturing processes.
Disadvantages =====
Geothermal wells are sometimes vented for a few hours to clear the
well and pipe lines resulting in a temporary release of steam and
abated gases. Such events can be noisy for a short time. Some
continuous low-level noise is also generated during normal power
plant operations.
There are not enough springs on the earths surface
They dry up in a short period of time
The springs and geysers of Yellowstone National Park and Wyoming and examples of geothermal sites. Wind Power: Wing power turns the turbines generating electricity. Wind is the natural movement of air across the land or sea. Wind is caused by uneven heating and cooling of the earth?s surface and by the earth?s rotation. Land and water areas absorb and release different amount of heat received from the sun. As warm air rises, cooler air rushes in to take its place, causing local winds. The rotation of the earth changes the direction of the flow of air. Surface features such as mountains and valleys can change the direction and speed of strong winds. Wind power is harnessing the wind with turbines to produce mechanical power or electricity. Advantages
Wind is a renewable energy resource. Wind patterns in Hawaii
provide strong, steady trade winds in specific areas throughout
most of the year.
Used as a ?fuel,? wind is free and non-polluting, producing no
emissions or chemical wastes.
Use of wind power as a source of electricity will help reduce the
usage of fossil fuels.
Wind power can be used with battery storage or pumped hydro-energy
storage systems to provide a steady flow of energy.
Wind power is a proven technology and has been used to generate
electricity for many years.
Equipment for wind machines is commercially available.
Disadvantages
Wind machines must be located where strong, dependable winds are
available most of the time.
Because winds do not blow strongly enough to produce power all the
time, energy from wind machines is considered ?irregular,? it
comes and goes. Therefore, electricity from wind machines must
have a back-up supply from another source.
Wind towers and turbine blades are subject to damage from high
winds and lighting. Rotating parts which are located high off the
ground can be difficult and expensive to repair.
Electricity produced by wind power sometimes varies in voltage and
power factor, which can cause difficulties in linking its power to
a utility system.
The noise made by rotating wind machine blades can be annoying to
nearby neighbours.
Nuclear Power Nuclear fission produces steam to generate electricity Nuclear energy is released in two ways: Fission and Fusion. Fission is responsible for the atom bomb and fusion provides energy for the stars and the sun for heat hydrogen bomb. It is generated with radioactive fuel and uses the thermal energy released by nuclear fission to generate steam, which in turn generates electricity by turning the turbo generators. Advantages: ? It is reasonably cheep ? Makes very little air pollution ? Do not emit green house gases so it is not responsible for global warming Disadvantages: ? Produce radioactivity, which is bad for health ? Occasional worries about leaks ? Problems about the disposal of waste Biomass Biomass consists of growing plants or the remains of growing things. Examples of biomass include trees, grasses, agricultural and food processing wastes, manure, ocean plants, and even garbage. Biomass serves as an important fuel for wood and paper product industries as well as for farm power and food processing facilities. Power plants in some states, such as Maine and New York, use biomass as a fuel source. Biomass may also be converted into liquid fuels such as methanol, ethanol, and biomass-based diesel substitutes for automobiles and other vehicles. Brazil operates about 40% of its vehicles on ethanol. Biomass is basically fuel. Advantages: ? Biomass is readily available and can be continuously produced as a renewable resource ? Growing biomass crops produce oxygen and use carbon dioxide ? Growing plants recaptures carbon dioxide, which is released when biomass fuel is burned Disadvantages: ? Burning causes air pollution ? A very inefficient method of providing energy Hydropower Hydropower controls the energy in moving water to produce electricity or operate machinery. The force of falling water or flowing streams spins a turbine. The turbine then turns a generator, which produces electricity. Pumped storage hydropower plants pump water back up from a lower reservoir to an upper reservoir where it is stored and then periods to meet peak power demands. Advantages: ? Clean and readily available in most countries ? Water may be sorted in reservoirs so that its use can be controlled ? A cheap way to produce electricity ? Has other benefits: reservoirs often provide leisure facilities Disadvantages: ? Can have an environmental impact. Large dams and reservoirs change the landscape, with many dams being built in spectacular mountain scenery. Roads often have to be built to provide access. River wildlife may also be affected, and large reservoirs create their own microclimate ? Only effective where there is sufficient water supply ? Many of the best and cheapest locations for dams have already been used Tidal power and wave power The key difference between tidal power and wave power is the wave power is air driven and not turned by water. When high tide comes in, waves pass through a generator; turbines in tidal power stations generate electricity. A barrier constructed across a river or beach, traps the water as the tide comes in. As the tide goes out, a gate on the barrier is lifted allowing the water to flow out. The flow of water again turns the turbines to power the generators in the power station. Tidal and Wave power mainly generates electricity Advantages:
It reduces the dependence upon fossil fuels
Tidal and wave energy is free, renewable, and clean source of
energy
Tidal and wave energy consumption creates no liquid or solid
pollution
Highly efficient resource (compared with coal and oil at 30%,
tidal power efficiency about 80%)
Energy capturing and conversion mechanism may help protect the
shoreline
Energy capturing and conversion mechanism have little visual
impact
About 60 billion watts of energy from tides can be used for
electricity generation
Tides are active 24 hours a day, 365 days a year
Disadvantages:
Construction of strong, cheap and efficient conversion devices may
be problematic
Technology isn?t fully developed
Problems exist with the transportation of hydroelectricity
Ecological impacts relating to the alteration of tides and waves
is not fully understood
Appropriate waves and tides are highly location dependent
Waves are a diffuse energy source, irregular in direction,
durability and size
Extreme weather can produce waves of great intensity
Fossil Fuels Fossil fuels are non-renewable energy sources. They are usually in the form of oil, coal and gas, which are burnt to produce power, mainly heat. The heat then produces steam, which is used to turn the generators to produce electricity. Fossil Fuels are burnt to produce heat, which is used to produce steam, which generates electricity -??????????????????????????????- Advantages:
They are available at a relatively cheap price
They can be transported easily
They have a high energy value
? Many engines are designed to use petroleum Disadvantages:
They are non-renewable
Burning of fossil fuels causes serious air pollution
The price of fossil fuels may be controlled by a few countries

Exploration of Energy Resources 9.7 of 10 on the basis of 2260 Review.