AP Environmental Science Energy Resources
Mulhearn's AP Environmental Science
Terms in this set (66)
An energy source with a finite supply, primarily the fossil fuels and nuclear fuels.
In energy management, an energy source that is either potentially renewable or nondepletable.
Tiered rate system
A billing system used by some electric companies in which customers pay higher rates as their use goes up
CFL (compact fluorescent) light
use one-fourth as much energy to provide the same amount of light as incandescent bulbs.
LED (light-emitting diode) light
use one-sixth as much energy as incandescent bulbs.
Thermal inertia (thermally massive materials)
The ability of a material to maintain its temperature.
Liquid fuels created from processed or refined biomass.
A vehicle that runs on either gasoline or ethanol.
Moving water, either falling over a vertical distance or flowing with a river, contains kinetic energy.
Storing water in a reservoir behind a dam
Water being retained behind a low dam and running through a channel before returning to the river
Largest hydroelectric water impoundment dam in the United States; in Washington State, generates 6,800 MW at peak capacity
Three Gorges Dams
In China, largest dam in the world, has a capacity of 18,000 MW, submerged ancient cultural and archaeological sites as well as large areas of farmland
The accumulation of sediments, primarily silt, on the bottom of a reservoir.
Photovoltaic (PV) cells
A system of capturing energy from sun as light, not heat, and converting it directly into electricity
Concentrating solar thermal (CST) systems
Large-scale applications of solar energy to electricity generation; use lenses or mirrors and tracking systems to focus the sunlight falling on a large area into a small beam
Heat energy that comes from the natural radioactive decay of elements deep within Earth.
Ground source heat pump
A technology that transfers heat from the ground to a building; sometimes mistakenly referred to as "geothermal" energy
Energy generated from the kinetic energy of moving air.
An electrical-chemical device that converts fuel, such as hydrogen, into an electrical current.
An efficient, self-regulating electricity distribution network that accepts any source of electricity and distributes it effectively to end users.
Alcohol made by converting starches and sugars from plant material into alcohol and CO2.
a fuel derived from biological material that became fossilized millions of years ago.
fuel derived from radioactive materials that give off energy.
commercial energy source
an energy source that is bought and sold.
subsistence energy sources
energy sources gathered by individuals for their own immediate needs.
a device with blades that can be turned by water, wind, steam, or exhaust gas from combustion that turns a generator into an electricity-producing plant.
a network of interconnected transmission lines that joins power plants together and links them with end users of electricity.
a power plant that uses both exhaust gases and steam turbines to generate electricity.
in reference to an electricity-generating plant, the maximum electrical output.
the fraction of time a power plant operates a year.
the use of a single fuel to generate electricity and to produce heat.
solid fuel formed primarily from the remains of trees, ferns, and other plant materials preserved 280 million to 360 million years ago.
a fossil fuel that occurs in underground deposits, formed from decaying marine organisms.
slow-flowing, viscous deposits of bitumen, mixed with sand, water, and clay.
a degraded petroleum that forms when petroleum migrates to the surface of Earth and is modified by bacteria; also called tar or pitch.
the process of converting solid coal into liquid fuel.
graph representing oil use and projecting both when world oil production will reach a maximum and when we will run out of oil.
the point at which half the total known oil supply is used up.
a nuclear reaction in which a neutron strikes a relatively large atomic nucleus, which then splits into two or more parts, releasing additional neutrons and energy in the form of heat.
a cylindrical tube that encloses nuclear fuel within a nuclear reactor.
a cylindrical device inserted between the fuel rods in a nuclear reactor to absorb excess neutrons and slow or stop the fission reaction.
nuclear fuel that can no longer produce enough heat to be useful in a power plant but continues to emit radioactivity.
a unit of measurement for radiation
a reaction that occurs when lighter nuclei are forced together to produce heavier nuclei.
energy of motion
ratio of amount of work done to total amount of energy introduced into the system
ease with which an energy source can be used for work
ultimate source of most energy on the earth
level of randomness in a system
type of coal with the most potential energy
type of coal with the least potential energy
pre-coal material; low quality energy source
type of coal with a medium amount of potential energy
method of extracting natural gas; controversial because of potential groundwater contamination
process of separating components from crude oil by heating to different temperatures matching the boiling points of the individual compounds
resources that will never run out in human existence (solar, wind, geothermal, hydroelectric, tidal)
potentially renewable resources
resources that can be regenerated rapidly as long as they are not consumed more quickly than they can be replenished (biomass)
greatest quantity of energy used at any one time
tiered rate system
charging less per kWh as a reward for using lower amounts of electricity
passive solar design
building strategy that uses seasonal changes in the sun's position to reduce energy demand
active solar energy
capturing energy from the sun using technology
carbon found in biomass
carbon that has been buried for millions of years
an activity that does not change atmospheric carbon dioxide concentrations
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