Now mankind are aware of these facts, and they realised the limitations of fossil fuels. This necessitates to think beyond conventional power generation methods. Therefore, the mankind innovated a new perspective of power generation. That is power generation from non conventional sources of energy. There are plenty of tidal waves, windflow, sunlight in our earth and those resources are renewable, that is the rate of generation is much higher than the rate of consumption. Harnessing the non conventional energy resources is very safe and easy, that is why this method is getting very much preference over the conventonal methods.
Why non conventional energy sources are essential
Conventonal energy resources are commonly used from the ancient times, but uses of non conventional energies are not very common. The energy demand is increasing day by day, but the conventional energy resources are limited. So, the use of non conventional energy is a sustainable solution as they are renewable. There are some points which will elaborate the importance of non conventional sources of energy.
- Eco friendly resource of energy: Most of the conventional resources (like fossil fuel, oil) are combusted to harness the iternal energy of them, and thereafter the heat energy is utilized for several purposes. But, the combustion of those fuels releases several harmful gases like Co, CO2 into the atmosphere. Several industries, small and large vehicles are continuously releasing those byproduct of carbons which directly affects the eco balancing system. If you take a look on any recent nature journal, you will see that they are continously giving warning about the recent changes in eco system due to the heavy use of coals and other petroleum products. But non onventional energy resources like tidel power, wind, biomass etc are totally pollution free and cheap too. If those unlimited resource of pollution free energy is utilized properly, then they will solve the problem of energy crisis efficiently without ant pollution.
- Reliable resource of energy: Non conventional energies are also termed as renewable sources of energy, because they are generated much faster than they are harnessed. In some simple approach, the availability of solar power, wind energy, or geothermal energy is more guaranteed than coal, or any other fossil fuels. And as those energies are unlimited and easy to harvest, so they are treated as reliable resource of energy.
- Economical way of generation: Generally, harvesting of conventional fuels are much difficult. As an instant of coal, they are mined from coal mine and processed in various stages before using. So, each step of processing requires additional costs including the transportation cost. But, in case of non conventional energy those costs are reduced effectively as they are directly usable just after capturing. The transportation costs are also not an issue for this case, and the power plants are founded near to the resource area. The initial foundation cost of non conventional energy plant is more, but the running costs are much lesser than conventional power plants. The main considerable thing associated with any type of power plant is the continuity of fuel. So, this cheap and reliable supply of non conventional energy leads to increase the economy of plant.
Different types of non conventional sources of energy
There are several kinds of non conventional energy resources accroding to their types. Our planet itself has a huge storage of nonconventional energies, among which most considerable resources are geothermal energy, tidal energy and wind energy. Each types of the renewable energy resources are discussed as follows.
Tidal Energy: The three fourth portion of our earth is covered by rivers an seas. So, proper utilization of this water resource will definately solve the energy problem. Generally, the sea water is rise and fall twice a day due to the combined influence of moon and sun. The waves and ocean currents are captured during those lunar effects, then those potentials are used for generating power. Tidal energies are infinite and reliable too. The inward and outward rushes of water currents are usually nomenclatured as the tidal energy. The main methods are single basin system and double basin system. Dams and reservoirs are made into the water flow path for capturing and storing the tidal energy. After that the high velocity water is thrown into the turbine blades which are connected with an generator. When the turbine starts rotating, consequently the generator shaft also starts rotating. Then the generated power is fed to transformer for stepping it up and send into the power grid.
Hydro Energy: In process of harnessing of the hydro energy is quite simillar to the process of tidal energy. Here the natural waterfall is used as the energy resource. In the upper portion of any waterfall, the water is of very high potential and thereafter they fall into the ground level at very high velocity. In the midway, turbines are installed. When the water is falling, then due to the high velocity turbine blades are rotated. Connected generator blades are also starts rotating. In this way, power is generated from the potential energy of natural waterfall. sometime the water is stored at dams and released by the control gate.
Wind Energy: This non conventional energy resource is very popular and several power plants are already built on the basis of wind energy. The wind energy means the flow of high velocity winds. Boats with sails are powered by the wind energy. Windmill or wind turbines are installed into suitable field where regular flow of wind is available. When the air flows, the blades of windmill starts rotating, and the attached generator shaft also starts rotating. But the major problems with wind energy are, the flow of wind is uncertain and this energy is non storable. A minimum amount of wind velocity is required to overcome the turbine friction and to rotating the turbine blades. So, the wind blades must be robust in construction, and light in weight. Research tells that, a combination of 3,50,000 windmill each of 1400 KW is able to generate 1,90,000 MW of power. If some advance technologies are applied and further modifications are carried out for better aerodynamics efficiency, then those plants will be more efficient and able to serve a considerable portion of regular power demand.
Solar Energy: The sun is considered as the source of all energy. The sunlight and concurrent heat is considered as the solar energy. Special equipments are used to harness the solar power, and after capturing, the solar energy is stored into cells ( like photovoltaic cell). The sun is very reliable resource of heat and light, proper use of this resource will help to solving the energy problem. There are two types of solar devices according to the way of capturing photons, storage and relaese of energy. They are active solar elements and passive solar elements. Solar panels are termed as active solar equpments as in those cells sunlight and heat is directly converted into electrical energy. In some urban areas, all street lights are designed with solar panels where the storage cells are energised during the daytime and those energies are used to glow lights at night. Solar heater, solar torch, solar lattern, solar cooker etc are the special equipments where the main source of energy is the sunlight.
Geothermal Energy: This energy is already stored inside the earth in the form of magma, earth crust, heated rocks etc. Generally water is injected into those geothermal energy source and after that the heated water is collected via a pump. This hot steam is used to rotate turbines or some other heating purposes also. Geothermal power plants are developed upon this simple technology where the water is injected into geothermal source via the injection wall, and the hot water steam is directed upwards via a pump. Those hot steams are fed to the turbine blades which cause to rotate the turbine. As the turbine shaft is connected with generator shaft, so ultimately the generator starts rotating. In this way, electricity is produced from the geothermal energy.
Biomass Energy: The name of this non conventional energy signifies that, the energy is harnessed from biological part of the earth. In general, this type of energy is derived from the plants. Actually, biomass energy is utilzed from the ancient time. The biomass energy is sommetime directly used as fuel, or some more processing is carried out to produce more effient biofuel. Woods are the largest source of biomass energy. And the second largest source of biomass energy is thhe waste energy like land fill gas etc. THose biomass energies are converted into suitable formats (like methane gas) and sometime more effiecient biofules like ethanol etc are derived from some special processing. Some countries are using biomass energy to generate the electricity.
These are some common non conventional sources of energy. Recently, they are getting high importance and possibly they will be used in proper way to resolve the enery problem. The effective use of these non conventional energies will bring the best solution of energy problem without harming the nature. That is why, all green technologies are preferring the uses of non conventional sources of energy.