Thursday, April 30, 2009

Why is alternative power good?

Alternative power can be defined as the useful form of energy produced from alternative sources of energy like the sun, wind, tides, ocean, water etc. Alternative power offers several advantages and benefits that have made its use very popular.

Why is alternative power good? The answer to this question lies in the fact that alternative power will be the only source of energy that will be available in the future. Today, almost all countries depend upon fossil fuels, coal, petroleum etc. to fulfill their energy requirements. However, the use of fossil fuels and coal pollutes the environment as their burning releases harmful particles into the atmosphere. The amount of fossil fuels and coal available is limited and finite. The reserves of these sources of energy are fast depleting and will finish one day. We will then be left with only alternative power that will meet our energy demands.

Alternative power is obtained from resources that are renewable. Alternative power can therefore be replenished whenever necessary.

The only way in which alternative power is not better than coal or fossil fuels is that it cannot be stored in large amounts for use when there is no sun or wind as opposed to fossil fuels, coal and petroleum that can be stocked for future use in large quantities.

Alternative power is available at lower costs for use. It also reduces the dependence on fossil fuels and coal. Alternative power will be the only source available to meet the energy demands of the coming generations. It therefore needs to be used wisely and conserved in an appropriate manner.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Geothermal Power

Geothermal power is the energy obtained from the heat stored in the earth. The resources of geothermal power are shallow ground water, hot water, rocks below the earth’s surface and hot molten magma in the depths of the earth. These resources can be trapped either by drilling the earth’s surface or through reservoirs.

The use of geothermal power in the form of geothermal steam and hot springs for bathing and heating has been going on for a long time. Today, in addition to these, geothermal power is used for generating electricity.

The development of geothermal power is taking place all around the globe. The main reason for the development is the fact that geothermal power is a renewable source of energy. Also geothermal power is cost effective and an eco friendly source of energy. In addition, geothermal power is the best method available to meet the energy needs of the various developing counties.

Geothermal power can be successfully harnessed in areas where there are enough hot springs or in areas where there is a high concentration of volcanoes.

Geothermal power is being used as an energy resource in countries like Canada, Iceland, Mexico, New Zealand, Philippines, Germany, Kenya, Turkey, and the United states. Other countries like the United Kingdom, Australia, Denmark, Portugal, India, Russia etc. are still exploring and developing geothermal power as an energy resource for putting it to various uses.

Geothermal power has a great potential. It is being used commercially in about seventy countries. However, at present, only a small percentage of the total geothermal power potential is being used effectively across the world.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Biodiesel power vehicles

Most of the vehicles in the world are being currently powered by petrol or diesel. The use of these sources leads to pollution and also causes a lot of health hazards. The prices of these fuels are ever increasing and the reserves of these fuels are on a decline. In future, there will come a time when no fuels will be available to power vehicles or the cost of obtaining the fuels will be enormous. Hence, to power vehicles in future an alternative energy source is required. This source is the biodiesel power.

Biodiesel power vehicles are being used to reduce the dependence on petrol and diesel and preserve the quantities of whatever amount of these fuels is left in the world. Bio diesel vehicles are also an answer to the rising fuel prices as biodiesel power is very cost effective.

Biodiesel power vehicles are not complicated to manufacture and easy to maintain and use. That is why more and more companies are switching to the use of biodiesel power for powering their vehicles.

The benefits of using bio diesel vehicles are:

• Biodiesel power is a renewable source.
• Biodiesel power vehicles do not cause pollution.
• They are less expensive than petrol and diesel vehicles.
• They are environment friendly.

Biodiesel power vehicles have now become a reality as several companies are manufacturing them. One can also convert their existing vehicles to bio diesel vehicles by making some modifications to the engines of the vehicles.

Applications of solar energy

The energy from the sun called solar energy can be put to a number of uses.

All devices based directly on solar energy use the rays of the sun for their operation. It is a known fact that black surfaces are the best absorbers of solar energy. Therefore, solar energy devices use reflectors to reflect the sun’s rays on to a blackened surface. The various devices of solar energy are solar heaters, solar dryers and solar cells.

Solar energy can be used to cook food in a device called a solar cooker. Solar energy is also used for heating water for domestic use, space heating of buildings, drying agricultural products and generating electrical energy.

Solar thermal power plants use sun’s rays to heat water and produce steam. The steam so produced is used to rotate turbines to generate electricity.

Buildings designed for day lighting have large south facing windows and the building materials used are such that they can absorb solar energy and then slowly release it. For concentrating solar energy, reflecting materials such as mirrors are used to concentrate the sun’s energy. This concentrated solar energy can then be used to generate electricity.

Solar cells which directly convert sunlight into electricity are made up of semi conducting materials. These cells can be used to make traffic lights, watches and calculators. They can also be used to light houses and provide power to electric grid.

Applications of solar energy are many and this source of energy can further be explored to be put to a number of uses.

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Wind power cars

Wind possesses kinetic energy that can be harnessed in many ways to convert it to usable forms of energy. This usable form of energy is called wind power. Wind power can be used for various purposes. It can be used for generating electricity, grinding grains and powering saw mills. Recently wind power has been used for more advanced purposes and technologies. Wind power has been used to power vehicles. Automobiles can now run on wind power smoothly and efficiently.

Wind power cars use a solar power battery for initially starting up. The battery then runs on circulating air. Four air intakes have been incorporated in the car’s body. These air intakes control the air flow from the car’s body to the turbines. The turbine in a wind power car is concealed within the body of the car and is connected to an alternator. When air reaches the turbine, it rotates to generate an electric current which is passed onto the alternator and converted to power that runs the car. The car will be made of lightweight aluminum and strong steel. Although the car will run at great speeds, it will be very expensive.

A wind power car has several advantages to offer. The foremost is that it does not require any burning of fuels and therefore causes no pollution. A wind power car does not contribute to global warming. It reduces the dependence on fuels for running cars and also reduces the cost of using cars. Wind power cars require very little maintenance. They are reliable and convenient to handle.

These can be used in the future to face the challenges posed by energy crisis.