Sunday, May 17, 2009

Robots to maintain wind farms

Renewable wind energy has always been there to fulfill the energy needs of the nations of the world. Traditionally wind energy was used to grind grains. The modern world uses the renewable wind energy mainly for electricity generation. The use of wind turbines is the most popular method of generating electricity from wind renewable energy and this electricity can be used as an alternative power source for domestic purposes. This can be done to reduce the amount of electricity bills by a significant amount. To generate electricity for commercial use, wind farms with a large number of wind turbines need to be set up. However, maintaining a wind farm effectively is a challenging issue because it requires a lot of manpower and a lot of expenses are incurred for this.

Innovations have been made in technologies to invent robots that have the ability to maintain the large wind farms eliminating the need of men. Although this invention will result in loss of employment opportunities for people, yet the cost effectiveness and convenience of managing wind farms using robots cannot be overlooked.

Responsibility for maintaining and managing the renewable wind energy generators will rest on the shoulders of the robots at all times. The operation and processes that need to be performed for the generation of electricity will be managed by robots. They will also be responsible for inspecting the movement of rotor blades and ensuring that the blades rotate in the right direction so that they can capture sufficient wind renewable energy. They will also be responsible for repairing any damaged parts.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Wind power cars

Wind as a renewable alternative energy source possesses kinetic energy which can be harnessed in many ways to convert it to usable forms of energy. Wind power is the useful form of energy so obtained that can be used for various purposes. The main uses of wind power are generation of electricity, grinding of grains and powering saw mills. With the advancement in technologies in recent times, wind renewable power has been used for more sophisticated purposes. It has been used to power vehicles. Automobiles like cars, airplanes, trains etc. can now run on wind power smoothly and efficiently.

The cars that run on wind renewable power use a solar power battery for starting up initially. The battery then switches over to running on circulating air. Four air intakes are incorporated in the car’s body that runs on wind renewable power. The purpose of the air intakes is to control the air flow from the car’s body to the wind turbines. In a wind renewable power car, the turbine is concealed within the body of the car and is connected to an alternator. The air rotates the turbine which generates an electric current which is passed onto the alternator and converted to power that runs the car. The material used in manufacturing the car is lightweight aluminum and strong steel. The car runs at great speeds but is expensive.

There are several advantages of using a wind renewable power car. The car does not require any burning of fuels and therefore causes no pollution. It is also easy and convenient to handle.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Uses of wind energy

The energy that is obtained from the blowing wind is called renewable wind energy. The renewable wind energy can be harnessed in several different ways and put to use in many practical applications.

The first use of renewable wind energy was made in transportation. Primitive sail boats made from woven mats were propelled by the blowing wind. Renewable wind energy is used in modern sail boats as well that have light weight sails that work like aircraft wings and can be moved in the desired direction. Another traditional use of wind energy is pumping water and grinding grains. Machines called windmills captured wind renewable energy and used it to pump water in rural areas and also generate electricity that could be used as an alternative power source. Traditionally, windmills were also used to drive or turn heavy granite disks crushed dried grains like wheat and corn to make flour.

The most important use of renewable wind energy is the generation of electricity by using modern machines called wind turbines. Wind turbines have a shaft that is connected to an electrical generator. The renewable wind energy rotates the shaft of the turbine and this converts the mechanical energy into electrical energy. Wind energy can also be used as an alternative power resource to generate electricity for commercial purposes.

However, renewable wind energy is not being used to its full potential because not many know of the benefits of using this renewable energy source. Therefore, new technologies must be developed so that maximum benefits can be obtained from wind energy.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Alternative energy resources

The use of alternative energy resources is made in place of fossil fuels and other traditional sources of energy. The most commonly and popularly used alternative energy sources are solar energy, wind energy, tidal energy, ocean thermal energy and hydropower.

Renewable alternative energy is available in the form of solar energy which is the energy obtained from the sun. It is considered to be the most important source of alternative energy. It is believed that the sun will exist for ever and thus provide energy for a millions of years. Efficient and low cost techniques are yet not available to harness solar energy.

Another green renewable source of alternative energy is the wind energy which is available as the kinetic energy of the wind. The energy of the wind is used to produce electricity that can be put to a number of uses. An alternative energy store needs to be created for wind because wind is an unreliable source of energy. But creating a large alternative energy store for wind energy is expensive.

A less common alternative energy resource is the wave energy that is the energy obtained from waves. This energy is used to generate electricity by running turbines.

Tidal power is the alternative energy that can be harnessed from tides. It is an alternative energy resource that is used for the production of electricity. Harnessing tides is very difficult and expensive and so this resource is not used much.

Alternative energy sources have a great potential if used properly. They can be used for substantial development.

Thursday, April 30, 2009

Geothermal electricity production

A power plant is used to generate electricity from various sources of energy. A hydro electric power plant uses running water to generate electricity. Wind energy operated power plants use wind turbines that convert wind energy to electricity. Most of the power plants run on steam. Steam is used to run turbines that in turn power a generator to produce electricity. Geothermal power plants use steam obtained from geothermal reservoirs in the earth to produce electricity.

There are three types of geothermal power plants that can generate electricity. A dry steam geothermal power plant uses steam that is directly pumped from underground wells into the power plant. This steam is then directed into a turbine and generator unit to produce electricity.

Flash steam geothermal power plant uses geothermal reservoirs to get geothermal energy. Hot water from the geothermal reservoirs moves upwards and a part of it condenses into steam. In the power plant, the water and steam are separated and the steam is used to run a turbine and a generator. This produces electricity. These are the most commonly used geothermal power plants.

Binary cycle geothermal power plants use water. The heat from the water is used to boil a working fluid which is usually an organic compound. The working fluid changes to steam and is used to run a turbine. The turbine powers a generator and this produces electricity.

Small scale geothermal power plants can be easily installed and used in rural areas to meet the electricity needs of the population.

The use of geothermal power plants is becoming common for electricity production.

Monday, April 27, 2009

Concentrating solar power systems

Concentrating solar power systems use mirrors or lenses to concentrate or focus a large area of sunlight into a small beam. This focused beam of light is then used in either conventional power plants or in photovoltaic systems. Concentrating solar power systems are divided into concentrating solar thermal and concentrating photovoltaic.

Concentrating solar thermal is used to produce renewable heat by focusing a large area of sunlight into a small beam. This heat is then used in conventional power plants to generate electricity. There are many concentrating solar thermal technologies available but the most commonly used are trough, parabolic and solar power tower. They are the most developed technologies used today.

Concentrating photovoltaic solar power systems use the sunlight on photovoltaic surfaces to produce electricity. Solar collectors are used to collect sunlight and a heat sink is used to store the solar energy in order to generate electricity. The concentrating photovoltaic systems perform the best in proper sunlight. These can be further divided into low concentration photovoltaic, medium concentration photovoltaic and high concentration photovoltaic.

Concentrating photovoltaic and thermal technology can be used to generate heat and electricity in the same system. The thermal power so obtained can be used for heating water for domestic use, for desalination and air conditioning. The electricity generated can also be put to use in a variety of domestic and commercial applications.

Concentrating solar power has been in use for a very long time. It was used to produce steam for the first solar steam engine. Concentrating solar power systems can be used for irrigation, refrigeration and locomotion.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Solar power cars

With the advancement in technology and the increasing use of solar power, solar power is being applied to applications other than domestic and commercial use. Solar power is being used to power vehicles because it is a renewable source of energy which will be readily available forever. Also solar power does not emit any harmful substances into the atmosphere. The use of solar power in powering vehicles is also viable because it is cost effective and reliable. Solar power also does not cause degradation of the environment.

Solar power cars are being developed for use in the present times and also for the future. Solar power cars use quantum dots. These are a form of nanotechnology. This technology creates tiny solar robots to convert sunlight into energy that can power the vehicles.

The solar power cars combine technology used in aerospace, bicycle, alternative energy and automotive industry. Almost all solar cars till date have been used as solar race cars. A solar power car has place for either one or two passengers. It has features like brakes, accelerator, rear view mirrors, turn signals and a radio for communication. Solar power cars either have gauges or wireless telemetry that can help one to know the amount of solar energy captured, the amount of energy used and other information related to solar energy that powers the car.

Solar power cars are not practical for use in day to day transportation at present but with improvement in technology and increase in demand, they will be used for daily transport.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Types of solar energy

The sun produces energy which can be obtained as solar energy in the form of thermal or heat energy and light energy.

There are two types of solar energy being used today, namely, solar thermal and solar photovoltaic.

Solar thermal uses solar energy to heat substances. Solar energy in the form of solar thermal energy can be used for applications like space heating, pool heating and water heating. There are a variety of products that use solar thermal energy. These devices are generally called solar collectors and can be installed on roof tops of buildings. These collectors collect and store solar energy and then use this energy in the form of heat for space heating or to heat water for domestic use.

Photovoltaic is the other type of solar energy that is used. It converts solar energy into electricity. Photovoltaic solar cells convert solar energy into DC voltage. This DC voltage can be stored in batteries or can be converted to AC voltage to supply electricity to homes. The solar energy stored in batteries can be used at night for power supply. Photovoltaic solar cells are made from a silicon material which goes through several chemical processes to finally produce photovoltaic cells.

Both the types of solar energy are used in equipments like calculators, toys, battery chargers, watches, solar pumps etc.

Although solar energy in both forms is readily and freely available, yet it finds only a small amount of usage in devices. The main reason is that cost of capturing solar energy is a lot. Therefore, methods need to be devised to capture and use solar energy at lower costs.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Generating solar power

Solar power can be generated by converting sunlight into electricity. This electricity can be put to several domestic and industrial uses. Solar power can be used in both rural and urban areas to meet the power demands. As an important and renewable source of power, it can be used in the future as well to generate massive amounts of electricity.

Solar panels can be used for generating solar power. A solar panel is made up of a number of individual solar cells. Solar cells are also called photovoltaic cells that can convert sunlight into electric current.

Solar panels are usually installed on roof tops where there is sufficient amount of sunlight. This helps the solar panels to generate more solar power because more sunlight can be captured.

Solar energy falls on the solar cells of the solar panel. This results in electron movement in the solar cells and an electric current gets generated because of the two different charges that generated inside the cells. The electric current is collected by a charge controller which controls the amount of electric current being supplied to the batteries. In the batteries, the electric current can be used directly for direct power in the form of direct current. The direct current can also be converted to alternating current by an inverter for alternating power supply.

The amount of solar power generated by solar panels depends upon the amount of sunlight received. Currently, only a small fraction of the total solar power generated is being used in the world. New methods have to be devised so that solar power can be used to its full potential.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Wind energy

After sun, wind energy is one of the most significant and cost effective source of renewable energy. Since decades, it has been used for sailing, irrigation, grinding grain and boating. Basically, wind energy is a kind of kinetic energy that is highly associated with our surrounding air. The systems for wind energy in milling as well as for irrigation have been put into use since the primeval time and till the beginning of 20 the century, it is being used for generating electric power. Now-a-days, in many countries, windmills have been installed to utilize wind energy, especially in rural areas.

For the purpose, wind turbines are also used that convert wind energy into mechanical power that further can be directly utilized for grinding purpose and for generating electric power. Five countries as Germany, Spain, Denmark, India and USA are supposed to preserve almost 80% of wind power capacity of whole world.

By considering the growing demands of wind energy, several manufacturers are augmenting the size of supply devices. Basically several gadgets used for the production of wind energy are wind turbines, windmills and sails. Now-days, on shore (wind farms established in sea) units have accounted more wind energy production as that of off shore (on the landscape) units.

Another much improved technique that has been invented after years of experience is auroville multi blade windmill whose double pump action capability increases the outcome by 60% as compared to other traditional pumps utilizing single action.

In short words, wind energy helps lot for alleviating the energy disaster; it will definitely render great advantages to our environment and will also strengthen our economy.