Archive for the ‘Green Energy’ Category
All cars are powered by gas. But with the volatility of crude oil prices and because it is not a renewable, something must be done before it is too late. Given that solar energy, a green energy source is used to power a community, you can also do this on a small scale by using the same principles to build your own car.
But what do you need to make this work? A lot of things but the two most important are the solar array and the batteries.
The solar array is vital because this is what’s used to collect the sun’s rays and then converts this into electrical energy. There are two types to choose from in the market namely the prefabricated type and the individual kind which you set up yourself.
If you are looking for branded parts, check out either Siemens or ASE Americas that sell terrestrial grade cells and the space grade cells. The lower end model which can produce a significant amount of power is the terrestrial grade version.
Proper wiring must be done to make sure that if one of the panels is not working, your vehicle will still move. If you are worried that the voltage of the solar array should match the system voltage of your motor, you should not to worry because it will still run.
We mentioned earlier that the battery is also important because this is where the solar energy will be stored. Your options for this are lead acid, lithium-ion or nickel-cadmium. Just how many you need to buy will depend on your motor’s voltage.
When you finally have these two components, these will now have to be connected to the motor. So you know how much juice is left in your batteries, you will also need to install instrumentation similar to the heads up display console on regular cars which tells you your speed, mileage and gas.
Don’t forget to put a steering wheel, suspension, brakes, tires and hubs. You may not be able to make a car that have the same features as like what you see done by one of the three US automakers but just enough to be able to drive it from one place to the next.
The only cars that use solar energy so far are the ones only used in races especially the one held in Australia from travels from the northern part of the country all the way to the south. If this has helped people realize that renewable energy is really the key to the future, the big automakers should try tapping this technology instead of relying of still relying on gasoline.
But apart from solar energy as a green energy source, biodiesel is another alternative. This is a combination of alcohol like methanol and a chemical process that separates glycerine and methyl esters (biodiesel) from fats or vegetable oils. This can also be done using corn and sugarcane.
Although these are not renewable, these are still considered as a green energy sources because it is cleaner than conventional gasoline. This means you do not release harmful chemicals such as carbon monoxide into the air which causes damage to the environment. So if you can’t build a solar powered car, consider a different fuel alternative.
Why is hydropower a green energy source? It is because we are able to harness electrical power by converting water into electricity.
The use of hydroelectric power or even hydroelectricity dates back to Ancient Greece and China when they installed waterwheels in rapidly flowing rivers to turn millstones and other equipment. Years later, this was used in the New World which is now known as North America to power saws and other equipment.
But the hydroelectric plants of today still use the same basic principles as the historical waterwheel with some variations. The difference is that we use the force of the power to push the turbine which in turn powers a generator thus generating electricity.
To make sure that there is a steady flow of power being produced, a dam has to be built to retain the water. If there is a need for more power, the gates of the dam are opened so water can be released. During non-peak, the gates are closed. To ensure there is water at all times, some dams have a recovery and pumping systems to the water released can be used again.
There are issues with the use of hydroelectricity. Some claim that it poses a problem for fish and aquatic plants on both sides of the dam. Because the flow of water has been altered, the nutrient rich silt which helps crops grow could be affected which is exactly what happened when the Aswan Dam was completed in Egypt.
But there are ways to fix that and the bigger picture is that power produced from hydroelectric plants do not generate any emissions or waste which happens to be much better than operating a coal-fired power plant.
There is another way to generate hydropower and you get this form the sea. This is also known as wave power or wave energy which uses changes in the air levels of sealed chambers to power turbines. When a wave rises into the chamber, the rise water pushes the air out which then turns a generator.
Once the wave goes down, air flows into the turbine and back into the chamber through doors that will close.
These chambers remain afloat on the ocean and how much power it produces varies. A lot of these are used on the western coasts of Scotland, northern Canada, southern Africa, Australia, and the northwestern coasts of the United States. These systems are usually small and can power a warning buoy or a small light house.
There is also tidal energy. The difference with wave energy is that when the tide approaches, the water is trapped in reservoirs behind dams. When the tide drops, the water behind the dam is released thus producing power similar to a hydroelectric power plant.
This can only work if you have tides that are at least 16 feet and since there are only a few places in the planet that can do that.
Lastly, you have ocean thermal energy. Here, you get power based on the different temperatures in the water. For this to work, you need at least 38 degrees Fahrenheit difference between the warmer surface water and the colder deep ocean water. Still in the trial stage, it is used Japan and Hawaii.
Hydropower is a green energy source. It is safe to use and what is even better is that it is renewable.
Solar energy is a green energy source because it is a renewable and it does not cause any harm to the environment. This is achieved by converting the sun’s rays into electricity with the help of solar cells.
There are three basic approaches how we can use this form of green energy source namely passive, active and by using photovoltaic cells.
When we refer to passive solar energy, nothing is converted. What happens is the building’s design helps avoid heat loss and gets the most out of day lighting.
Such a technique can also be used in homes because studies have shown that this can reduce the heating requirements by as much as 80% with minimal cost. This means you don’t have to turn on the air condition or heater that often and if everyone does that, we don’t consume that much electricity which we get from non-renewable resources.
The second approach which is active solar energy is the first way of converting sunlight into heat. You should know that there are certain limits to this one and all it can do is make sure you have hot water.
The third approach is the big scale version and it can power an office or an entire home. This is done with the help of solar cells that convert sunlight into electricity. The smallest ones around can be seen in calculators and watches with large ones planted over huge acres of land.
The only limitation to this green energy source is the fact that it can only generate power when the weather is good and the sun is out. Should it rain, then nothing is collected and converted. When this happens, the auxiliary system is turned on until the weather improves.
Despite that, scientists and students themselves have made solar powered cars. NASA or the National Aeronautical Space Administration has sent satellites into space that are powered by solar panels. A fully functional airport can function on its own thanks to solar power even if it is situated in the middle of the frozen desert.
So people can see the awesome power of solar energy, did you know a kilowatt of solar energy can produce 5.5 hours of electricity per day. If you have more solar cells in place, naturally you will be able to produce enough power to last several days.
Solar energy is just one form of green energy source around. Through the years, we have learned to tap other resources and these examples include wind power, geothermal energy, hydroelectricity and biogas. These are all safe and by using these more often, we don’t need to depend on oil which is a nonrenewable resource.
To make this happen, we have to persuade our law makers to promote the use of such resources. Although you hear speeches left and right about their concern for the environment, it is all talk and not that much action. It is something that has to change.
Two countries that have increased solar usage happen to be Germany and Japan. Spain, France, Italy and South Korea are next in the list and where is the United States? Well, one thing is for certain and that it is not in the top 10 despite the fact that it is an industrialized nation.