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Alternate Forms Of Energy In Relation To The Generation Of Electricity

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Introduction

ALTERNATE FORMS OF ENERGY IN RELATION TO THE GENERATION OF ELECTRICITY The need for energy today is greater than it has ever been. In order to satiate this burgeoning requirement for energy (electricity), newer, safer, cleaner and, most important of all, renewable sources of energy have been lined up to replace the conventional methods. Of course, it was only a matter of time before new methods would have to be researched and enforced due to the sheer weight of problems caused by nuclear and fossil fuels: pollution of many types (visual, audio and atmospheric) and unmanageable costs. Generally, methods of electricity generation vary according to economic resources, but patterns of generation are similar internationally. Modern electric generators typically give an a.c. output of around 20,000 V at a frequency of either 50 or 60 Hz. A three-phase a.c. transmission system is usually used, in which three conductors carry alternating currents that are out of step by one-third of a cycle: this gives a constant flow of power, and hence much smoother and more efficient operation than with a single-phase system. For long-distance transmission, the generated voltage is stepped up using transformers to around 270,000 V, or up to 500,000 V on certain long-distance sections. ...read more.

Middle

Countries that make use of geothermal power include Iceland, Italy, New Zealand, and the USA. Although geothermal power is being actively explored, it currently supplies only about 0.1% of the world's energy. In the UK, although theoretically it could supply a high proportion of electrical energy, in practice the very deep drilling required involves unsolved technical problems. Solar power - the use of the sun's energy to provide heating or to generate electricity. A vast amount of solar energy (about 3 x 1024 joules) falls on the earth every year. This energy can be converted into heat, the commonest method being by heating water flowing through special solar panels on the roof of a building. The temperature rise produced is small but it reduces the energy required from other sources for hot water and space heating. As some 45% of energy is used in space heating buildings in the UK, solar heating could make a considerable contribution to UK energy needs. Higher temperatures, to raise steam for electricity generation, are possible using mirrors to focus the sun's rays in a solar furnace. It is estimated that 7000 square metres of mirror are required to generate 1 megawatt by boiling water to drive a turbogenerator. ...read more.

Conclusion

This process, which is used in China and India among other countries, also converts the wastes into nitrogen-rich fertilizer. Sewage works in the UK generate most of the heat and power they require by burning the methane gas produced from sewage fermentation. Hydroelectric power - electricity generation using the energy of falling water. The water turns a turbine connected to an alternator, generating electricity with an efficiency of over 90% at full load and generally over 60% at quarter-load. Water is led through pipes from high-level natural or artificial reservoirs to the power station. Lower-level reservoirs and dammed rivers are also used in some situations. The higher the reservoir, the less water is needed for the same power output. Hydroelectric power is, therefore, a cheap power source in mountainous areas with high rainfall. Unfortunately these are not usually near the industrial communities that consume the most power. Also, because it depends on rainfall, hydroelectricity has to be backed by other power sources. In pumped storage stations, electricity is stored by using it to drive pumps that raise the water to a high-level reservoir. In times of high demand this water is run back through the turbines. Hydroelectricity is a renewable energy source causing no pollution; it currently provides 2.4% of world energy needs but only 0.2% of UK energy. ?? ?? ?? ?? ...read more.

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