There are several ways energy is produced. The most common are gas, oil and coal. With the growing concern of depleting these non-renewable energy sources, many people are always looking into greener ways to produce energy. There are a couple types of green power generators, known as wind and solar that can provide energy solutions without leaving a huge carbon footprint.
Here are two types of energy generators and how they are stored:
Sun energy, or commonly known as, Solar energy is a very common green energy generator, harnessing the power of the sun to generate electricity without tapping into the grid. This type of energy is very economical for the homeowner and can also be somewhat profitable based on the types of state and federal tax credits where you reside.
But Solar Energy is also generated through solar farms.
Here is how solar energy is stored:
- Battery backup: is a very common way to store solar, especially in a residential home system. During the day, the sun charges the battery back for your home, so as the day turns to night, the battery backup system kicks in, and continues to power your home.
- Molten Salts: solar thermal plants developed the technology of heating salt at 1,050 degrees till it becomes liquid. The Crescent Dunes Solar Energy Plant (hyperlink: http://www.solarreserve.com/en/global-projects/csp/crescent-dunes) in Tonapah, NV, uses mirrors to reflect heat from the sun to a tower located in the center of a circle of 10,000 mirrors instead of solar panels. The liquified salt is then transferred to an insulated tank. The heat from the molten salt generates steam through a turbine on the back end to create energy.
Harnessing the power of the wind, can be captured through turbines that spin to generate electricity. Wind is used to convert kinetic energy by the wind into mechanical power. This power is then converted into electricity. Since there isn’t a large scale of energy created by wind, most of what is generated is being pumped into the grid, about 60,000 MW worth. That’s 20% or more electricity without any energy storage.
But, for excess power generated by wind, there are several ways it’s stored. Here are the three ways:
- Battery backup
- Compressed air storage: energy generated is converted into compressed air, and is usually stored in above-ground tanks or caverns
- Hydrogen Fuel Cells: wind turbines generate enough energy used to split water components into it’s own element: hydrogen and oxygen. Then the hydrogen is stored in the fuel cell for later use.
As you see here, energy can still be produced without having to deplete our natural resources like coal and gas. These alternatives to generating energy help to lessen the carbon footprint, and can lead to cleaner air, oceans and our natural surroundings.
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