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Renewable energy resources and their use in producing electricity.

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Introduction

A renewable energy resource is one which can be extracted from the environment, and the energy source will always remain available. Examples of renewable energy sources are: > Biomass > Food > Wind > Waves > Solar > Geothermal > Flowing water The sun is the ultimate energy resource for: > Coal- because without the sun the trees would not be able to grow. > Biomass- because we use this when eat food and burn plants. Without the sun the plants and trees would not grow. > Food- because without the sun the crops would not grow. > Wind- without sunlight there would be no wind. This is because wind is caused by the sun heating different parts of the earth unequally. ...read more.

Middle

When coal is burnt, its stored chemical energy is released as heat energy. This heat energy boils water at high pressure to make superheated steam at temperatures of about 700�C. The kinetic energy in the superheated steam is used to drive turbines. These are connected to the electricity generator by large coils rotating inside a strong magnetic field. Unlike ordinary cells, solar cells do not use chemical energy. Instead they change light energy into electricity. Solar cells are known as photovoltaic (high-voltage) cells. Small solar cells power some pocket calculators. In some places, such as Antarctica, where there is no mains electricity supply, big panel containing many solar cells are sometimes used instead. ...read more.

Conclusion

Although wave energy would be a cheap energy resource. Geothermal energy is also a renewable energy source which is found inside the Earth. The Earth is hot due to radioactivity, hot water comes to the surface naturally in some parts of the world such as in New Zealand, but in other countries cold water is pumped down very deep holes and steam comes back to the surface. This energy process emits no greenhouse gases and is clean and efficient. The world's non-renewable energy resources such as fossil fuels are soon to run out in generations to come. We must find a way how to make more effective use of them. In power plants with coal there is only 25% efficient which means that 75% of the energy produced is wasted. The wasted energy could be used to heat nearby homes. Physics Project Easter 2003 Peter Simey 4SCW Physics ...read more.

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