How Do the Different Types of Renewable Resource Work?


Image shows a wind turbineEach one of the different types of renewable resources work in a different way. Many of the best renewable resources like wind, solar, tidal and wave energy, do not involve burning (combustion) and this has substantial advantages in avoiding the emission of polluting smoke. But, don’t make the mistake of thinking that the energy from combustion cannot be “renewable”, as clearly it can, and sometimes “renewal” can be very quick. For example, burning crop waste (for example straw) in a well designed and efficient boiler where the ash residue is put back on the land it came from is sustainable and renewed each year when the crop is grown.

Here are some examples of how some “non-combustion” renewable energy resources work:

How Wind Turbines Work

The concept behind wind power is very easy to understand. The wind blows and pushes the turbine blades making them spin. The blades are mounted on a rotating shaft that is runs through the middle of an electro-magnetic generator, and coiled up copper wire (also mounted on the shaft) turns within a strong magnetic field and creates electricity, that is sent along wires into a sub-station. From the sub-station the electricity flows into homes and factories. Wind power is an ideal back-up for a solar panel system on cloudy days and during the night.

Turbine blades spin when the velocity of the wind is sufficiently fast and powerful that it lifts and rotates them as it is blown over them, causing the blades and the rotor (shaft) that the blades are attached to, to spin. Most turbines have either twin or triple blades.

The wind starts up the machine at wind speeds of about 8 to 16 miles per hour (mph) and shuts off the machine at about 55 mph. This is done automatically and turbines do not operate at wind speeds above about 55 mph because otherwise they may be damaged by the high winds.

There two main types of wind turbine. The first and the most common is the horizontal axis wind turbine with other is the vertical axis type.

The main turbine shaft is what connects the spinning blades to the inner workings of the machine. The turbine shaft spins with the blades and is the mechanism that transfers the rotational/mechanical energy of the blades into the electrical generator.

Aerodynamic modeling is used to design the best tower height, control systems, number of blades, and blade shape.

Simply stated, a wind turbine works the opposite of a fan. Instead of using electricity to make wind, like a fan, wind turbines use wind to make electricity.

Depending on the system you create, you can go green and not only help save the planet, but save money as well. If the government won’t do it, the least we can do is help and save the planet for our children!

Wind energy features by utilizing sufficient wind energy to rotate the wind turbine to create pure clean electricity. Making the most out of your wind energy system could be done by putting it in windy locations or mountainous areas.

How the Resource of Solar Power Works

Mirror based solar array

The solar array at the CSIRO Energy Centre – part of the Australian National Solar Energy Centre

Solar power is another type of renewable resource which was initially identified as an alternate resource of energy, and is ultimately the source of all forms of energy, except nuclear energy. Energy originating from the sun is being harnessed via using solar panel, in a big way and the adoption of solar energy resources is bound to grow far bigger yet.

(Image: CSIRO Creative Commons Attribution 3.0)

There are a large number of ways to convert solar power into useful energy.

One method is known as a solar array. This is the tool which is comprised of hundreds of large mirrors arranged around, and focused to shine the sun onto a mast on the top of which a solar energy collector is fixed. That single high power photo-voltaic energy collector creates electricity. Solar Energy arrays are placed in sunny locations in order to capture the most energy possible.

How the Resource of Tidal Energy Works

Image shows the Severn Tidal BoreTidal energy is an additional kind of renewable energy. There are many ways in which the energy of the tides can be used, and no space here to cover more than one.

One example that could be developed could be to draw energy from the pressure wave developed by the tidal bores.

Tidal energy is not based on the weather condition, so it can be easily anticipated when the energy will be available. this makes it a more valuable resource than other less predictable renewable energy resources.

These are only two of the commonly accepted types of different renewable energy sources being developed these days.

Why it is So Important to “Go Green” Now that You Have Read How the Different Types of Renewable Resources Work

Old-fashioned kinds of fossil fuel energy need to be burnt in order to create useful energy, and because they are fossil fuels previously locked-up in the earth’s crust, burning them means raising the total amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. It is this which is the main factor suggested which is causing climate change as a result of the so called “greenhouse effect”, this is increasing average global temperatures, and that is leading to ecological destruction. On the other hand, alternative kinds of energy, such as wind energy, makes energy from completely clean processes, making them the fuels of the future preferred all throughout the globe. This is needed for a solution to meet the energy demands of society, making it important that each renewable resource is developed where it is economically viable, and executed in every corner of the world, as quickly as possible.

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