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The Alternative Energy Sources

from: Forsgrens

So you want to know more about alternative energy sources and its forms? This article will tell you what you need to know.

Alternative energy or more commonly called renewable resources are resources that do not require splitting atoms or burning fossil fuels. It is called renewable because it can be replaced constantly and would produce lesser amount of pollution compared to oil and gasoline.

Alternative energy is not new. Since energies are discovered, alternative energies are already being used. The only difference is, alternative energy during those times, these are not yet categorized as such.

Alternative energy may come in the form of fuel cells, geothermal, wind power, biomass, hydroelectric, solar, wave energy, and tidal energy.

Fuel cells are the newest among the types of alternative energy and are more commonly associated with electric cars (some, hybrid cars). These are electrochemical devices that aim to produce power (electricity) through chemical reaction. Main advantages of the use of fuel cells are its ability to produce power without giving off air and noise pollution. Meanwhile, fuel cells cannot be mass-produced yet because of high manufacturing cost.

Geothermal energy is one rich source of power. For small-scale use, it takes heat from within the earth to warm residential houses, businesses and industries. For large-scale use, geothermal energy plants are used to extract steam or hot water to the surface. The steam then pushes the turbine generator to move which would produce electricity.

Wind turbine also produces electricity. Similar to that of a windmill, wind turbines have blades that are moved by the wind. With the help of shaft that is attached to the blades, the wind turbines rotate the generator to produce energy. Meanwhile, what determines power that is supplied to the generator and is then stored to the batteries are the speed of the wind. If there is less wind, less power is produced. Strong wind on the other hand produces more electricity. Most common sites of this alternative energy source are farmland, areas where winds blow strong most of the time, or places where it is much expensive to build power lines than wind turbines.

Biomass is any form of organic matter that can be converted to biomass fuel. This could be animal waste, agricultural crops, grains, wood, mill residues, forest, and aquatics plants. There are 2 uses of biomass fuel: one, it is used as a material to heat water to produce steam, and two, to be processed as a gas or a liquid (alcohol).

Solar energy is the most common energy that can be utilized efficiently and safely. The power comes from the sun that is extracted by solar cells that would instantly convert it to energy.

Water as source of alternative energy: Hydroelectric energy is commonly used in dams. Turbines that are moved by water current can generate power instantly. Cost may be high but once dams are built, power is virtually free. Tidal energy is a small version of dams. It does not require building big dams. Instead, it uses turbines that are embedded on waters. When tides change, water moves; and when water moves, the turbines move; when turbines move, it produces energy. Wave energy on the other hand gets its power from the fluctuation of water below the surface, or from surface waves.

So there you have it; the kinds of alternative energy sources.


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