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a nuclear reactor that creates more fissile material than it consumes, make better use of fuel, generate more power, and produce less waste than conventional reactors
How does nuclear fusion work?
force together small nuclei of lightweight elements under extremely high temperatures and pressures
What happened at Three Mile Island?
Combination of mechanical failure and human error lead to a meltdown
the accidental melting of uranium fuel rods inside the core of a nuclear reactor, releasing radiation
harnessed from trees, charcoal from burned wood, and matter from agricultural crops, as well as animal wastes.
the process in which biomass is vaporized in the absence of oxygen that can generate electricity when used in power plants to turn a gas turbine to propel a generator.
What is a big benefit of biomass
It is carbon neutral, since carbon released by burning biomass is carbon that has been pulled out of the atmosphere by photosynthesis.
What are the economic benefits of biomass?
support rural economy, reduce dependence on imported fuels, least expensive fuels, improved efficiency reduces cost.
What are drawbacks of biomass?
indoor air pollution, unsustainable harvesting, monoculture, wouldn't stop fossil fuel reliance
water is impounded in a reservoir behind a dam, then let through the dam. As water passes through the dam, turbines are spun, creating electricity
run of river approach
Any of several methods used to generate hydropower without greatly disrupting the flow of water.
What are the negative impacts of hydropower?
1. damming rivers destroys habitats
2. natural flooding cycles disrupted
3. thermal pollution
4. fragment habitat
What are the new renewable energy sources?
Sun, wind, geothermal heat, movement of ocean water, and hydrogen.
Why are new renewables called new?
1. Not yet used on a wide scale in modern industrial society
2. Harnessed using developing technology
3. They will play a bigger role in the future
What are the benefits of new renewables?
1. Alleviate air pollution
3. diversify economy with a mix of energy
4. employment opportunities
buildings are designed and materials are chosen to maximize absorption of sunlight in winter
occurs when light strikes on pair of plates in a PV cell, causing a release of electrons, which are attracted to the opposite plate.
What are the benefits of solar power?
2. quite, safe, low maitenence
3. Allows for local control over decentralized power
What are the two big disadvantages of solar power?
1. Not every region is sunny enough
2. Cost of investment
Why does having a different speed in the turning of a wind turbine matter?
1. Energy content increases as the square of its velocity
2. Increase causes more air molecules to pass through the wind turbine per unit time
Benefits of wind power:
1. No emissions once built
2. prevents emissions
3. Efficient based on EROI
4. Produce 23 times more than consume
5. Requires little maitenence
What are the downsides of windpower?
1. Wind is unpredictable
2. Some places are windier than others.
3. Threat to birds and bats lol
Why is geothermal power only renewable in principle?
Groundwater can run out faster than it's replenished, and patterns in geothermal activity shift over time.
What are some drawbacks to geothermal?
1. Releases gas dissolved in water
2. Not always sustainable
3. limited to where energy can be tapped
Ocean Thermal Energy Conversion
A potential energy source that involves harnessing the solar radiation absorbed by tropical oceans
warm surface water is piped into a facility to evaporate chemicals that boil at low temps
How do fuel cells produce electricity?
By joining hydrogen and oxygen (reverse formula of electrolysis)
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