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Energy systems in modern world

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There are many forms of renewable energy. Most of these renewable energies depend in one way or another on sunlight. Wind and hydroelectric power are the direct result of differential heating of the Earth’s surface which leads to air moving about (wind) and precipitation forming as the air is lifted. Solar energy is the direct conversion of sunlight using panels or collectors. Biomass energy is stored sunlight contained in plants. Other renewable energies that do not depend on sunlight are geothermal energy, which is a result of radioactive decay in the crust combined with the original heat of accreting the Earth, and tidal energy, which is a conversion of gravitational energy.

Solar power is energy from sunlight is captured in solar panels and converted into electricity. Energy straight from the sun. The photovoltaic (PV) cells that capture photons and convert them into electricity, to solar thermal energy (STE) that makes use of the sun’s heat, solar is one of the most promising energy sources on the market today. Solar PV is an electric power system which converts solar radiation (light) into direct current electricity (power). The system features solar panels which absorb and convert sunlight into electricity. The panels themselves are designed to generate power everyday simply by exposure to light. This means that even on a cloudy day, your Solar PV can still produce energy. Although a PV array produces power when exposed to sunlight, a number of other components are required to properly conduct, control, convert, distribute and store the energy produced by the array. Batteries are often used in PV systems for the purpose of storing energy produced by the PV array during the day, and to supply it to electrical loads as needed (during the night and periods of cloudy weather). Other reasons batteries are used in PV systems are to operate the PV array near its maximum power point, to power electrical loads at stable voltages, and to supply surge currents to electrical loads and inverters. In most cases, a battery charge controller is used in these systems to protect the battery from overcharge and overdischarge.

Solar energy has more advantages than disadvantages which makes an applicable source of producing alternative energy. It is widely used in many countries because It does not create any pollution, it can be used to produce electricity as long as the sun exists, its eco friendly, you save electricity bills, it can enhance the value of your house, easy installation and requires little maintenance. Some disadvantages are: it is proven to be ineffective in colder regions which don’t receive good sunlight, It cannot be used during night and not all the light from sun can be trapped by solar panel. There are 5 most common types of solar energy.

Solar water heating: they are a cost effective and efficient way of heating your house without having having to install solar panels. They capture the sun’s energy and turn it into thermal energy. Solar heating systems are come as active or passive. Active systems make use of pumps in order to allow movement of water, hence, generation of heat. Passive systems, on the other hand, use natural circulation. One aspect that makes thermal heating systems stand above other heating systems like oil and gas pumps is the capability to heat an entire swimming pool at an insanely inexpensive rate.

Solar cells: used to power many things ranging from calculators to entire businesses. They have been used over the years to power tiny things like calculators, the past few years has witnessed large cells making inroads into the marketplace. Large cells have the capacity to power entire homes. Solar tech: can enable charging using solar energy. There is a solar powered charger that is able to charge any electronic from tablets to cell phones. They are able to be charged just by exposure to sunlight. Solar lighting: is used mostly to enhance value and efficiency of their homes the lights come with wireless technology and capture the sun’s energy during the day to alleviate the need for traditionally supplied electricity during the night.

Rooftop solar: some people grow plants on their roof space which is time consuming and takes a lot of maintenance. Some people recover and recycle material from building construction, repair and demolition. Wind power turns wind energy into electricity. Windmills is turbines to convert rotational energy into electricity that can reliably flow into a grid. It was used in powering sailing ships, which made it possible for explorers to sail around their trade routes in distant lands. A single windmill can power the crop irrigation, and the family energy needs, water pumping and electric lights. It is mostly used these days to generate energy for industrial uses. It is an renewable energy that does that not cause any air pollution and has created a lot of jobs in the last few decades and setting up cost has been more affordable. Wind power can only be used in areas known for high winds, they sometimes create loud noises and cannot be used near residential areas which makes the use of it to particular regions only and less favourites for a lot of buildings. Tidal Power uses movement of tides to drive turbines to generate electricity. The rise and fall of the tides is steady and predictable, making tidal power a viable alternative source of energy for regions where high tidal ranges are available.

This energy can be used on much wider scale than other alternative sources of energy. The waves produced by the ocean and tides that hit the sea shore has enormous potential in them if they are harnessed with full capacity. they can go a long way in reducing world’s energy problems. Tidal power basically involves using kinetic energy from the incoming and outgoing tides.

There is a lot of energy that can be harnessed from waves for use. It is another form of hydropower. The rise and fall of ocean tides are captured by tidal energy generators which turn turbines. The movement of turbines is responsible for producing electricity. Tidal energy generator captures the kinetic motion of the tides and converts them into electrical energy. Advantages of tidal energy is that it is completely renewable and are much more predictable than wave energy, it is not expensive to operate and maintain, Low noise pollution as any sound generated is transmitted through the water and high predictability as high and low tides can be predicted years in advance. Disadvantages are: it is not always a constant energy source as it depends on the strength and flow of the tides which themselves are affected by the gravitational effects of the moon and the sun.Tidal Energy requires a suitable site, where the tides and tidal streams are consistently strong.Must be able to withstand forces of nature resulting in high capital, construction and maintenance costs.Geothermal energy‘Geo’ means Earth and ‘thermal’ means energy which means geothermal is energy drawn or harnessed from beneath the earth. It is completely clean and renewable. The earth contains a molten rock called magma. Heat is continuously produced from there. The temperature increases about 3 degrees Celsius, for every 100 meters you go below ground. Below, 10,000 meters the temperature is so high, that it can be used to boil water. Water makes its way deep inside the earth and hot rock boils that water. The boiling water then produces steam which is captured by geothermal heat pumps which are technologies that leverage the nearly constant temperature below the earth (regardless of the season) to heat and cool buildings.

The United States produces more Geothermal electricity than any other country in the world. Most hot water geothermal reservoirs are located in the western statesGeothermal energy is totally renewable as earth will continue to produce heat as long as we are all are here. If these resources are tapped and are utilized effectively, they can provide solution to the world’s power problems. It produces no pollution, reduces our alliance on fossil fuels, It’s significantly cost savings as no fuel is required to harness energy from beneath the earth. These advantages make geothermal energy as one the best alternative energy source. The downside is It is suitable to particular region and cannot be harnessed everywhere, the earth may release some harmful gases not suitable for mankind, the areas where this energy is harnessed are prone to earthquakes and volcanoes, and setting up of geothermal power stations requires huge installation cost. Hydroelectric energy: It’s the most used renewable energy resource in the world and also the oldest method of power generation. Solar energy is produced by sun and wind energy is produced by moving of winds. The heat caused by sun drives the wind. The movement of winds is then captured by wind turbines. Both wind and sun cause water to evaporate.

The water vapor then turns into rain or snow and flows down to sea or oceans through rivers or streams. The energy of the moving water can then be captured and called as Hydroelectric energy. They use power stations capture the kinetic energy of moving water and give mechanical energy to turbines. The moving turbines then convert mechanical energy into electrical energy through generators. Dams around the world have been built for this purpose only. Hydropower is the largest producer of alternative energy in the world. for power to be generated, three things must be present; flowing water, a turbine, and a generator. Flowing water from the dam or upstream river strikes the turbine, which causes it to turn. The turbine is connected to the generator through a shaft. So, when the turbine turns, the shaft also turns causing the generator to start running, eventually, producing power.Advantages of hydroelectric energy: it is constant, predictable and a controllable source of energy, it emits no greenhouse gases and are environment friendly. Disadvantages are it can cause adverse effect on aquatic life, reduce flow of water which may affect agriculture, require huge costs to build and may cause havoc if they get breakdown.

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