On Earth, there are different sources of energy, renewable energies, and non-renewable energies. These forms of energy are available to meet the demands of the world population, which is increasing day by day. These energy demands concern transport, heating, as well as the use of the telephone or even television. The use of energy has led to an improvement in the living standards of people in developed countries.
There are two types of energy sources: so-called non-renewable energies and so-called renewable energies. Unfortunately, in terms of usage, non-renewable energies remain the most used, like oil or coal. Let's talk about them separately.
First of all, sustainable energies are renewable insofar as they are capable of renewing themselves fairly rapidly. Moreover, these energies are sometimes inexhaustible on the time scale (human scale). On the other side, we will also talk about non-traditional new energies.
Nowadays, we exploit 7 renewable energies:
Hydropower represents approximately 19% of the electricity produced in the world. And between 2010 and 2009, there was a slight increase, from 17% to 19%.
Hydropower plants are said to be low falls if they are located on a large river with a slight slope but very high flow. Therefore, this energy produces electricity continuously. The use of dams is necessary to divert the water to the power plant. Finally, sluices are also mandatory so as not to interrupt river traffic.
Once the water is placed in the power plant, the distributor blades are moved, which is then fed onto a Kaplan type turbine. This turbine consists of "blades" with an orientation helping to have a good output.
Due to its rotation, the turbine drives an alternator that will produce electricity. Lastly, a transformer sends the energy produced to an electricity network.
Solar energy can be photovoltaic or thermal. This energy is recovered from the solar rays reflected on panels, called thermal collectors. These will then transmit the solar rays to metal plates, which will later heat a network of copper pipes.
First of all, it is important to say that in order to use solar thermal energy, solar panels are mandatory on the roofs of homes. These panels will thus be able to refract the heat of the sun's rays in order to allow the information peddler fluid to heat up.
Photovoltaic solar energy has the same principle of operation as thermal solar energy. However, the difference is that once the sun's rays are captured by solar collectors, the energy is directed to a production counter through vacuum tubes in copper. The use of this energy makes it possible to make important savings and thus, to supply the houses with electricity.
Biomass energy, produced from fermented organic matter, produces gas that subsequently can produce electricity or heat. Forestry, agricultural or household waste power the Biomass energy power plants.
There are 3 families for biomass:
Lignocellulosic biomass (or lignin) mainly comprising wood, green residues, and straw.
Carbohydrate biomass, using sugar cane, cereals, and sugar beets. These constituents are favored by Mechanisation or by distillation.
The oleaginous biomass, which is rich in lipid. This category of biomass is called "Biofuels".
We use these materials as fuels in the production of heat, fuels or even electricity. In ecology, we refer to biomass as the total mass (in quantity of material) of all species living in a given natural environment.
For instance, The main users of this biomass energy are the United States, with 30.7% of production worldwide, just ahead of Germany. Below is a summary, in 5 points, of the process:
Combustion: biomass burns in a combustion chamber, releasing heat
Steam production: heat converts boiler water into steam
Electricity generation: the steam turns a turbine that drives an alternator. Consequently, the alternator produces electricity that is transmitted through the lines
Heating production: at the turbine outlet, part of the steam is used for heating thanks to a co-generator
Recycling: a condenser transforms the rest of the steam into water.
Geothermal energy consists of finding hot water tables of about 55 to 80°c that cities pump in order to use this heat before returning it in these same tables. It is a so-called clean and renewable energy, although its renewal is not as immediate as the renewal of solar and/or wind energy.
This energy refers to the industrialization of heat use and thermal phenomena on Earth. To collect energy located in the water or on the ground, we bury sensors 1800 meters deep. Once recovered, we then distribute it to small houses as heating.
Nuclear energy is clean energy since it does not release greenhouse gases. However, it alone produces 17% of the world's energy consumption. Here's how it works:
The fission of atoms: in the reactor, the fission of uranium atoms produces a large amount of heat. This heat increases the temperature of the water circulating around the reactor.
Electricity generation: this hot water heats the water in the secondary circuit which turns into steam. The steam turns the turbine which drives an alternator. The alternator produces an electric current, which then a transformer help to increase the voltage for transportation in the lines.
Recycling: at the outlet of the turbine, a condenser transforms the steam of the secondary circuit into water. Air coolers can also cool steam.
It is the process by which the naturally occurring calories in the air are converted into an energy source for "making" hot and/or cold.
The principle of the aerothermal heating system is to use, and also to amplify the calories from the air and send them to a heat pump to allow the production of domestic hot water or pool heating
To use this energy source, you will have to install a heat pump outside the house. This pump is connected to a buffer tank and a generator, both of which are located inside the habitat.
Non-renewable energies are energies that are unable to renew themselves, for example, fossil energies. Let's have a look at the different non-renewable energies:
Oil is an organic matter comprised of tiny fragments of animals and plants that mix with sediments. For a rock to produce oil, sedimentation must be rich in organic matter and oxidation. Then, they will turn into gas, oil or oil during burial. The processed product differs depending on the depth, length of stay and temperature to which the organic material is subject. Soil movement causes hydrocarbons to migrate until the rocks retain them (or up to the Earth's surface). Unfortunately, it is very difficult to determine where oil and gas are present.
Natural gas is primary energy, considered to be the cleanest fossil energy of our time. The formation of natural gas comes from the slow metamorphosis of microorganisms (microscopic animals and plants) that make plankton.
The thermal energy with flame depends on the elements contained in the subsoil (oil, gas...) and it is an energy that uses heat to produce energy. Steps:
combustion: a fuel (fuel oil, gas, coal) burns in a boiler releasing heat
steam production: heat converts boiler water into steam
electricity generation: the steam turns a turbine that drives an alternator. In addition, the alternator generates an electric current, transported in the lines
Most renewable energies all have specific benefits for biodiversity protection. Their main purpose is to protect the planet from possible climate change. Indeed, all these energies are considered as being clean energies. They pollute little or nothing and their use is more and more common in everyday life. It, therefore, competes with polluting energies, such as oil or coal. Especially since they are inexhaustible, unlike natural gas, coal or oil.
As far as biomass is concerned, it is a renewable energy source, provided, of course, taking into account the risks of deforestation. Its price varies little but its cost is competitive. Biomass is one of the least polluting energies compared to fossil fuels. This energy has no impact on the environment, so it does not emit additional CO2 to the total amount that trees absorb. And finally, biomass helps create local jobs.
Most hydropower plants have a technology of micro-power plants well developed, making this energy the best mastered of all renewable energies. Its equipment has a reliable guarantee and a long life. Hydropower is clean because it does not directly generate any emissions that are harmful both to the planet and to man.
The installation of solar panels is a simple and efficient way to produce energy while protecting the atmosphere from any source of pollution. Of course, this system of transformation is inexhaustible. It is important to note that its use is becoming more and more common. It is one of the only energies to compete with non-renewable energies.
As a renewable energy source, geothermal energy is also environmentally friendly. It does not emit greenhouse gases. Its operation is autonomous. It can produce energy continuously throughout the year thanks to its resistance to weather variations. Its source is in fact concentrated on the entire surface of the globe, so no element of conflict is conceivable with regard to this resource.
Nuclear energy is an energy that saves the planet's increasingly scarce natural resources. The operation of power plants costs poorer countries less than fuel-fired power plants because they do not need coal to operate. Some reports claim that this energy would be healthier and less dangerous for the environment than dams (hydraulic power stations), which cause a change in the environment by creating floods and landslides.
Wind energy is clean and sustainable renewable energy that does not require any fuels. It does not create greenhouse gases or radioactive or toxic waste. Wind energy is an energy that does not pollute the air. It guarantees the security of supply due to variations in oil barrel prices. Even after a wind farm is installed, other power plants can continue to operate nearby. One of the major advantages is that the construction of wind farms does not take much time. During construction, we bury only the foundations.
Unlike the other sources of energy natural gas does not leave any ashes and odors during extraction. For easy shipping, we cool down natural gas to liquefied form and transport it by LNG (Liquified Natural Gas) carriers. Natural gas is abundant, versatile and the cleanest-burning hydrocarbon non-renewable energies on earth nowadays.
Oil is one of the most valuable energy sources in the entire world. Almost all cars nowadays run on petrol and gasoline, both derived from crude oil. It also plays a major role in the biggest industries such as chemicals, transport, power, petrochemicals, etc. With its high energy density (small amount of oil can produce a large amount of energy) and easy availability, oil is the energy source that we humans are most dependant on.
Indeed, it is true that all these energies abound in benefits but despite this, many problems persist with our energy consumption. The efforts made in renewable energy research are not sufficiently effective. In themselves, renewable energies are not enough to put non-renewable energy sources aside definitively, whereas this one is experiencing big problems as far as future yields are concerned, reservoirs are greatly reduced and nothing has yet been found to counter these differences.
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