(ORDO NEWS) — Our civilization needs huge amounts of energy – for any kind of production, refueling vehicles, lighting houses…
But the Earth seems to be completely inexhaustible. Today we will tell you about alternative energy sources. What types of them exist today, and what are the prospects for their use, according to scientists?
Basic sources of energy, such as coal or oil, tend to run out and pollute the environment. They are opposed to renewable resources such as geothermal energy or solar radiation. Today we will look at ten alternative energy sources that have already shown themselves in action.
1- The sun as an alternative source of energy
“Sunshine windows” The sun is an obvious and reliable source of alternative energy, but solar panels require extremely expensive materials.
SolarWindow technology uses transparent plastic panes that double as solar panels. They can be installed as ordinary windows, and the production price is quite acceptable.
2- Ebb and flow: promising alternative forms of energy?
Tides. We have begun to look at tides as alternative sources of energy quite recently. The most promising wave generator – Oyster – was developed only in 2009.
The name translates as “oyster”, since it is it that he outwardly resembles. Two installations launched in Scotland are enough to provide energy for 80 residential buildings.
3- Can microwaves power spacecraft?
The microwave generator is an ambitious project by British engineer Robert Shoer, which proposes to completely abandon the usual spacecraft fuel.
Resonating microwaves should hypothetically create powerful jet thrust. However, there are no workable examples of such use of this alternative energy source.
After all, the essence of the project is the refutation of Newton’s third law. Whether the system works or is quackery is still unclear.
4- Viruses – alternative energy of the future?
Viruses. Scientists from the National Laboratory. Lawrence at Berkeley discovered a virus a couple of years ago that could create electricity by deforming modified materials.
Such properties were shown by harmless bacteriophage viruses M13. Now this technology, using such an unusual alternative form of energy, is used to power the screens of laptops and smartphones.
5- Geothermal energy
One of the most famous and widespread alternative energy sources is geothermal. It is taken from the heat of the Earth itself and therefore does not waste its resources.
One thermal power plant, “sitting” on a volcano, provides current to about 11,500 residential buildings. This type of alternative energy is extracted using small wells. Geothermal energy is especially effective in regions where hot springs are located close to the surface of the earth’s crust.
6- New solar panels
There is another new type of solar battery, however, focusing not on cheapness, but on efficiency. Betaray is a sphere filled with a special fluid, covered with heat-trapping panels.
The device generates four times more energy than conventional solar panels. So, not only the search, but also the development of alternative energy sources continues.
7- Biomass energy
Biofuels are a very promising alternative energy source, literally grown in the fields. It is extracted from vegetable oils such as soy or corn.
But the most promising are … algae, giving a hundred times more resources than land plants. And even waste from them can be used as fertilizer.
Note that one of the advantages of this source of alternative energy is universalism. After all, heat, electricity and fuel can be produced from solid, liquid and gaseous biomass.
8- Thorium: a new alternative energy source?
Radioactive thorium is very similar to uranium, but gives off 90 times more energy! True, scientists have to sweat a lot for this, and basically thorium plays a secondary role in nuclear reactors.
Its reserves in the earth’s crust exceed those of uranium by 3-4 times, so that thorium is potentially capable of providing humanity with energy for hundreds of years. So, researchers have yet to learn the full power of this alternative energy source.
9- Wind energy
The inflatable turbine is essentially the next level in the development of wind farms, which have already become traditional, albeit alternative, sources of energy.
A turbine filled with helium rises to a height of up to 600 meters, where the wind blows constantly and with great force. In addition to the energy payback, the device is also very weather resistant and cheap.
10- Nuclear power
International experimental thermonuclear reactor. Despite all the dangers associated with nuclear power plants, they still remain the most powerful alternative energy sources invented by man.
ITER is a project of an international thermonuclear reactor, in which the EU countries, Russia, the USA, China, Korea, Japan and Kazakhstan participate. The end of construction of the reactor is scheduled for 2020.
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