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Energy Efficient Devices, Research Paper Example

Pages: 3

Words: 962

Research Paper

Introduction

Renewable energy is not a new concept; it has been with us for thousands of years in different forms. Renewables provide an infinite source of energy and mainly use the natural resources that are part of our natural environment.  Examples of these include: BioMass, Hydro, Solar, Wind, Geothermal, Tidal, Waves etc.   This paper examines the concept of different forms of renewable energy in terms of both advantages and disadvantages.  Comparative analysis between this and other types or fossil or nuclear power.  The concept of renewable energy has been linked to climate change and the need to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, as associated with carbon based fuels i.e. coal and oil fired power generation.  Nuclear power has also been proven to be unsafe considering both Chernobyl and the recent earthquakes that destroyed power plants in Japan.  It is argued that Renewable energy represent the only sensible way forward to provide clean and safe energy in the future. (Clean Energy Ideas)

Renewable Energy

Renewable energy focuses upon those types of energy which are generated from within our natural environment.  As such these represent clean forms of energy in that they do not emit harmful pollutants to our environment or CO2 gases that cause global warming to our environment.  Fossil fuels like coal and oil also deplete the earth of natural minerals and these run out over time.  Renewable sources of energy will provide us with limitless energy resources over time.  Examples of renewable energy sources are:

Wind Power – The Earth’s climate generates a high degree of wind energy. Such power can be harnessed by wind turbine engines.  These can be networked to generate significant amounts of power and can make a significant contribution to the electrical grid.  The power is also radiation and pollutant free using only the natural resource of wind power.  They have been criticised as being both ugly and noisy but placement can be made in non-residential areas, normally high land that attracts sufficient wind power.  They can also be placed in wind farms in offshore positions which are even less of an intrusion.

Solar Power – Solar power is using power that is captured from the energy of the sun. These panels harvest the electricity or solar energy and are often used for Zero Energy Buildings (ZEB’s).  One of the big advantages of ZEB is that the buildings use as much energy as they can produce and in a lot of circumstances they over produce and then return power to the grid. By metering this consumption and output of energy to the grid, the property owner can take advantage of energy credits.  The meters reverse and the building or home owner receives one or more credits, which may also include a Renewable Energy Credit. This policy has been substantially employed within the residential areas of Riyadh in Saudi Arabia.

A Zero Energy Building (ZEB) is a building that has been built for energy efficiencies.  The building is non-reliant upon electric power from the Grid.  Considered eco-friendly the building has several different design concepts. In 2009 Singapore has been demonstrating its’ advancements in green technology and the considerable investment it is making in this area. (Board, Singapore Economic Development)

Bio Fuels – Biofuels are attractive because they reduce the CO2 emissions in the atmosphere.  Biofuels as an alternative energy source may also help to alleviate the current pressure on the use of fossil fuels i.e. oil.  The use of biodiesel is created by extraction from oleaginous crops – including that of Rapeseed, Sun Flower Seed, Soybean and Palm.  These crops are deemed to have a fast growth rate and contain high amounts of oil that could be transformed into clean energy fuel supplies.  The use of microalgae was used as a screening mechanism for the determination of the best products to use for the oil. The fresh water microalgae (Neocgloris Oleabundans) and that of the Marine Algae (Nannochloropsis) proved to be the most suitable raw materials for biofuel production.  The concept of growing these under Nitorogen greatly increased their oil capacity. (Oliveira).

Initial production of microalgae was tested in airlift bioreactors.  These cultivated in accordance with growth rate medium 37.  This is best explained by the illustration of an experiment performed by members of the Earths Bio Science Institute at the University of California.  A starter culture of selected microalgae strains was entered into a number of small plastic lined ponds using small areas of photo bioreactors.  Oil was extracted upon production of the dried algae biomass.  This compound was re-introduced to the pond after being treated by being dampened and anaerobically digested.   The resulting biogas produced was harnessed for electricity generation and the residue CO2 emissions were re-injected into the pond.  (Benemann).

Hydro and Geothermal power – Hydro power is essentially generated from large volumes of water that passes through a long collection system and drives turbines that produce electricity.  The province of Quebec in Canada produces large amounts of this cheap electricity and exports this to the Eastern Seaboard Grid of the USA.  Critics argue that hydro power is harmful to the natural environment as it traps and contains natural flowing water.

Geothermal power is derived from hot water springs and can be used to drive steam turbine engines that produce electricity.  The hot water and steam collected can also be used for domestic heating of houses.  Proximity is based upon the areas where this sort of natural power is located.

Works Cited

Benemann, T.J. Lundquist I.C. Woertz N.W.T. Quinn J.R. A realistic technology and engineering assessment of Algae Biofuel Production. Academic Report. Berkeley, CA: University of California, 2010.

Board, Singapore Economic Development. 19 10 2009. 10 7 2012. <http://www.edb.gov.sg/edb/sg/en_uk/index/industry_sectors/alternative_energy/industry_background.html>.

Clean Energy Ideas. Renewable Energy Definition. 2012. 10 7 2012. <http://www.clean-energy-ideas.com/energy_definitions/definition_of_renewable_energy.html>.

Oliveira, L.Gouveia and A.C. Microalgae as a raw material for bio fuels production. Society for Industrial Microbiology, 36:269 (2009): 269-274.

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