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AP Environmental Science (Energy)
Terms in this set (58)
Once they're gone, there's no more
Derived from biological material that became fossilized millions of years ago. (Coal, Oil, Natural gas)
Derived from radioactive materials that give off energy
Commercial energy sources
Those that are bought and sold, (coal, oil, wood, etc)
Subsistence energy sources
Those gathered by individuals for their own immediate needs. More used in developing countries.
Something that can move and deliver energy into a convenient, usable form to end users.
Large device that will turn to spin a shaft of a generator which produces electricity.
Connects power plants together and links them with end users of electricity.
Natural gas-fired power plant. 2 turbines and generators. Natural gas is burned to spin a turbine and the waste heat will boil water which will turn another turbine.
Maximum Electrical output of a plant
Fraction of time a plant is operating.
Combined heat and power. Use of fuel to generate electricity and heat.
Solid fuel formed by remains of plants that were preserved at least 280 million years ago.
Widely used fossil fuel. Mixture of hydrocarbons, water and sulfur that occurs in underground deposits.
Liquid petroleum that is removed from the ground. Oil=crude oil=petroleum
Slow flowing viscous deposits of bitumen mixed with sand, water and clay.
(Tar/Pitch) Degraded type of petroleum that forms when a petroleum deposit is not capped with nonporous rock.
Coal to liquid. Process to make solid coal a liquid fuel
Total energy is increasing, but energy per person is staying constant.
Hubbert Curve (Dealing with Oil)
Maximum amount of oil that can be extracted before it begins to decline.
Nuclear reaction in which a neutron strikes a relatively large atomic nucleus which then splits into 2 or more parts.
Containment structure enclosing the nuclear fuel which is contained in a cylindrical tube.
Cylindrical devices that can be inserted between the fuel rods to absorb excess neutrons. thus slowing and stopping the fission reaction.
Waste after the nuclear fuel is used up and can't produce heat, but still emits radioactivity.
Measures the rate at which a sample of radioactive material decays.
Another unit of measure for radiation. 37 billion decays per second.
Reaction that powers the Sun and other stars. Lighter nuclei are forced together to produce heavier nuclei. Lots of heat is generated.
Once gone, no more. Oil Coal Nuclear
As long as we do not consume them more quickly than can be replenished. Wood Biofuel
Solar, Wind, Hydro etc. Energy for all time.
Potentially Renewable and Nondepletable
Finding ways to use less energy
Tiered Rate System
Customers pay a low rate for the first increment of electricity they use and pay higher rates as their use goes up.
Greatest quantity of energy used at any one time.
Passive Solar Design
Technique that takes advantage of solar radiation to maintain a comfortable temperature in a building.
Ability of a material to retain heat or cold. Stay hot when heated or cold when cooled.
Biomass can be processed or refined into liquid fuels such as ethanol and biodiesel.
Carbon in biomass
Carbon in fossil fuels.
An activity that does not change atmospheric CO2 concentrations
Removing more timber than is replaced by growth. Unsustainable practice -> Deforestation.
Alcohol. Made by converting starches and sugars from plant material into alcohol and CO2.
Can run on either gas or E-85 (85% ethanol, 15% gas) fuel.
Electricity generated by the kinetic energy of moving water. 2nd most common form of renewable energy.
Hydroelectricity generation, water behind a low dam and runs through a channel before returning to the river.
Storing water in a reservoir behind a dam. Allows for on demand electricity generation.
Comes from the movement of water. This is driven by the gravitational pull of the moon.
Active Solar Energy
Technologies capture the energy of sunlight with the use of technologies. Includes, Small scale solar water heating systems, photovoltaic solar cells etc.
Photovoltaic Solar Cells
Capture energy from the sun as light, not heat, and convert it directly to electricity.
Heat that comes from the natural radioactive decay of elements deep within the earth.
Ground Source Heat Pumps
Take advantage of the high thermal inertia of the ground.
Widely used in some countries and making a comeback in others.
Converts kinetic energy of moving air into electricity.
Operates like a battery. This reaction happens in a closed container to which no additional elements are added.
Electric current is applied to water to split it into hydrogen and oxygen.
Efficient, Self-Regulating electricity distribution network that accepts any source of electricity and distributes it automatically to end users.