APES Unit 4 Renewable Energy
Terms in this set (38)
Pros of harnessing energy from tidal waves
-tidal waves move back and forth, energy turbines can harness energy from both incoming and outgoing tides
-don't disrupt marine environments due to their protective mesh
-can be captured near coastal areas, where it is needed most
Are biomass resources sustainable?
yes, so long as we do not consume them more quickly than they can be replenished
Examples of nondepletable resources
solar, wind, geothermal, hydroelectric, and tidal energy
what form is most renewable energy in?
How can renewable energy sources affect the environment?
-wind: affects bird migration
-hydroelectric: kills fish
-photovoltaic cells: require the use of heavy metals
what is a truly sustainable approach to energy use
a truly sustainable approach to energy use must incorporate both energy conservation and energy efficiency.
means finding ways to use less energy
How can governments facilitate energy conservation?
-energy companies can charge at a tiered rate
what is a way that consumers can increase energy efficiency?
switching to energy star appliances
doing the same amount of work with the use of less energy
what does the demand for energy vary with?
time of day, season and weather
what happens when electricity generating plants are unable to handle the demand during high use periods?
brownouts or blackouts
the greatest quantity of energy used at any one time
how do electric companies meet peak demand?
electric companies often keep backup sources of energy available-primarily natural gas-fired generators.
what is a way of reducing peak demand?
setting up a variable price structure under which consumers pay less to use electricity when demand is lowest and more when demand is highest
what are the least expensive and most environmentally sound options for maximizing our energy resources?
energy conservation and energy efficiency
passive solar design
a technique that takes advantage of solar radiation to maintain a comfortable temperature in the building. Passive solar design stabilizes indoor temperatures without the need for pumps or other mechanical devices.
high thermal inertia
the ability of a material to retain heat or cold; stone and concrete have a high thermal intertia
roofs with soil and growing plants
pros of "green roofs"
-cool and shade buildings
-improve overall are quality
applications of passive solar heating
-positioning windows on the south side
-covering buildings with dark roofing material to retain heat
-building homes on the side of a hill
active solar energy technologies
capture the energy of sunlight with the use of technologies
-solar water heating systems
-conc. solar thermal systems for electricity generation
most common application os solar water heating
heating swimming pools
how does a household water heating system work?
it allows heat energy from the sun to be transferred directly to water or another liquid, which is then circulated to a hot water or heating system. the circulation of the water is driven by a pump (active) or by natural convection (passive)
how does a household water heating system work if it is cloudy?
they typically have a backup energy source, such as an electric heating element or a connection to a fossil fuel based central heating system
how do photovoltaic cells work?
they capture energy from the sun as light, not heat, and convert it directly into electricity
how efficient are photovoltaic cells?
How can people pay off the cost of photovoltaic cells?
by selling excess energy to an energy company
how do concentrating solar thermal systems work?
mirrors concentrate solar radiation which then vaporizes water into steam that turns a turbine; best constructed in deserts (lots of land and sun)
Pros of active solar energy systems
-no pollution (air, water, CO2)
-produce energy when needed most (hot sunny days for AC)
-help relieve the load of peak demand
Cons of active solar energy systems
-long payback period
-photovoltaic cells require the use of heavy metals
-manufacturing and disposal of batteries
ultimate source of fossil fuels
the only important sources of energy that are not solar based are...
* and tidal energy
Biomass energy accounts for what percentage of renewable energy
fact: like fossil fuels, biomass contains a great deal of carbon, and burning it releases it back into the atmosphere
carbon in biomass
carbon in fossils/fossil fuels; is out of circulation until humans use it
True or false: the burning of modern carbon
should not result in a net increase in atmospheric CO2 concentrations because we are returning the carbon to the atmosphere where it had been until recently
true in theory, however some modern carbon may have naturally been fossilized so carbon may actually be added
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