Tag Archives: Energy

Green Energy: Tidal

Tidal Power or Tidal Energy is an old upcoming energy form, still unknown for global market, but one of the oldest forms of energy used by humans, and is also more predictable than sun and wind energy. It is the future generations energysolution. Tidal energy has not been in much use because it is a new upcoming technology, still has high costs and needs time to find sites with sufficiently high tidal ranges or flow velocities.

Tidal power is reliable and non-polluting as it does not cause emission of gases or use fossil fuel generated electricity, and decreases the need for nuclear power. The system is like windturbines but undersea turbines, driven by the sea instead of the wind (see photo below). Unlike wind and waves, tidal currents are entirely predictable.  Tidal energy can be used:

* By building semi-permeable barrages across estuaries with a high tidal range

* By harnessing offshore tidal streams as electricity can be generated by water flowing both into and out of a bay.

Atleast a seven metres tidal range is required for economical operation and for water suffency. It is extremely important to choose right location for tidal energy as it can disturb aquatic and shoreline ecosystems, as well as navigation and recreation.

Underwater-Tidal-PowerPhoto credit: trackenergy.com.au

Historically, tide mills have been used, both in Europe and on the Atlantic coast of North America. The incoming water was contained in large storage ponds, and as the tide went out, it turned waterwheels that used the mechanical power it produced to mill grain.The earliest occurrences date from Roman Times. It was only in 1800 that the process of using falling water and spinning turbines to create electricity was introduced in the U.S. and Europe (Source: Wikipedia).

Wind Energy

Wind Power is the conversion of wind energy into a useful form of energy, such as using wind turbines to make electrical power, windmills for mechanical power, windpumps for water pumping or drainage, or sails to propel ships. A large wind farm may consist of several hundred individual wind turbines which are connected to the electric power transmission network.

Blog 3Wind turbines in Sicily

Offshore wind farms can harness more frequent and powerful winds than are available to land-based installations and have less visual impact on the landscape but construction costs are considerably higher. Small onshore wind facilities are used to provide electricity to isolated locations and utility companies increasingly by surplus electricity produced by small domestic wind turbines. Wind power, as an alternative to fossil fuels, is plentiful, renewable, widely distributed, clean, produces no greenhouse gas emissions during operation and uses little land. Any effects on the environment are generally less problematic than those from other power sources.

Solar Energy

Radiant light and heat from the sun, has been harnessed by humans since ancient times using a range of technologies. Solar energy technologies include solar heating, solar photovoltaics, solar thermal electricity and solar architecture, which can make considerable contributions to solving some of the most urgent energy problems. Solar technologies are broadly characterized as either passive solar or active solar depending on the way they capture, convert and distribute solar energy. Solar energy can be harnessed at different levels around the world, mostly depending on distance from the equator.

° Active solar techniques include the use of photovoltaic panels and solar thermal collectors to harness the energy.

° Passive solar techniques include orienting a building to the sun, selecting materials with favorable thermal mass or light dispersing properties, and designing spaces that naturally circulate air.

Uses: architecture and urban planning, agriculture and horticulture, water heating, heating, cooling and ventilation, water treatment, cooking, process heat, solar vehicles…

The amount of solar energy reaching the surface of the planet is so vast that in one year it is about twice as much as will ever be obtained from all of the Earth’s non-renewable resources of coal, oil, natural gas, and mined uranium combined.

spain_solar

Seville, Spain, is the first European commercial solar power station, called PS10. With a 980 metres high concrete tower surrounded by fotovoltaic fields of 624 solarpanels and giving electricity to over 60,000 homes.

Sources: wikipedia.com, inhabitat.com, humanevents.com

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