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Energy for Home Assignment.

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Bonn International School MYP Physics Energy for Home Assignment By Harsh Munagala Electricity is a form of energy which we use everyday to run our household appliances. But how and where is this electricity produced? Many people depend on fossil fuels, like oil and coal, to provide them with energy. However, we should not only resort to fossil fuels, not only because they are non-renewable sources of energy and will eventually run out, but also because they harm our environment. We have the freedom to choose where we want our energy to come from, and there are many forms of energy out there which can provide our homes with energy. Solar energy, for example, is the solar radiation (from the Sun) that reaches the earth. There are many different methods of producing energy, which can be converted to electricity. In homes and other buildings, solar energy is used in three basic ways: passive solar heating, solar water heating, and solar cells. The simplest and cheapest method is passive solar heating, in which sunlight is used to heat buildings directly without pumps or fans. Houses with passive solar heating have energy-efficient windows that face south so that the house absorbs as much heat as possible from the sun. They are also built with large amounts of stone, adobe, or concrete because these materials store heat better than wood or plaster. ...read more.


Although in some places, like in Holland, Windmills are part of the scenery and many tourists pay to see them. A further disadvantage is that the blades of large wind generators can often interfere with microwave communications. While wind energy may never be a major source of energy, it is a practical alternative in some areas. Other energy providers are the hydroelectric power plants. Thousands of years ago, humans learned to harness the energy of falling water. Today water is used to generate electricity. The water must fall a considerable distance to have enough energy to push a heavy turbine and a generator (fig. to the left). Dams provide this vertical distance. Water power has several advantages. It is clean and renewable, and it leaves no waste. There are indirect benefits as well. The reservoirs that form behind hydroelectric dams offer recreational opportunities which helps the local economy. Furthermore, they can provide drinking water for the local community. But more importantly, they also control flooding. On the other hand, hydroelectricity has some disadvantages. When a dam is constructed, the water forms a reservoir that disrupts the river ecosystem and displaces the local habitats, and the people that have been driven away will probably never get to see the energy that is produced, only the people living further away who will not have to move. ...read more.


However, many economists and business men argue and say that it is a wonderful source of energy, not only because it will outlast non-renewable fuels but also because the production of energy is smoke-free. It is also a more reliable source of energy, because it isn't vulnerable to strikes or natural disasters like some other energy providers are, such as dams which produce hydroelectric power are very vulnerable to earthquakes and would be destroyed if such a disaster were to take place. It is also the most efficient form of energy, "one ton of uranium produces more energy than is produced by several million tons of coal or several million barrels of oil." The government does not force the people to get energy only from a particular source of energy. In today's world there are many different forms of energy from which people can choose. We have the freedom to decide for ourselves whether we want our electricity to come from nuclear plants or from windmills and I feel that this is the way it should stay. If there are people who do not mind where their electricity comes from, then the government can decide which form of energy is most suitable for them. Like I said before, there are many forms of energy out there that can improve the current situation of the world, they just need to be utilized properly and this can only be done if we work together for a better future. ...read more.

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