APES Ch. 19 Alternative Energy

Terms in this set (37)

-High quality, and can be used like fossil fuels, and fuel cells (similar to batteries in that electrons flow between negative and positive poles, but fuel cell generates electricity rather than just storing it as in a battery) use hydrogen to produce electricity
-The advantages are that when it is burned, it produces water and no SOX or CO2 is released. It can also be transported in pipelines and stored in tanks; and it can be produced using solar and other renewable resources. Also, since it can store energy, it can be used with other types of alternative energies, and on days when there is no sun or wind, hydrogen can be used to produce electricity.
-The disadvantage is that hydrogen gas must be produced.
-It is not widely used because it is an unstable form of energy. Also one way to produce hydrogen is to use an electrical current to separate hydrogen from water through electrolysis. This way to produce hydrogen is to use a thermal process in which steam is combined with natural gas, removing the carbon and leaving hydrogen. This process depends on a fossil fuel and produces some carbon dioxide. Hydrogen can also be produced from gasification of biomass.
-lightest, most abundant element in the universe
-high-quality fuel that can be easily used in any of the ways in which we normally use fossil fuels, such as to power car engines and to heat water and buildings
-It is a clean fuel; the combustion product of burning hydrogen is water, so it does not contribute to global warming, air pollution or acid rain
-can be stored easily in fuel cells
-flammable as oil
-geothermal energy is natural heat from the interior of the Earth that is converted to heat buildings and generate electricity
-used in 21 countries; total worldwide production is about 9,000 MW; supplies less than 0.15% of the total energy supply
-in some areas, heat flow is sufficiently high to be useful for producing energy. for the most part, areas with high heat flow are associated with plate tectonic boundaries. Oceanic ridge systems (divergent plate boundaries) and areas where mountains are being uplifted and volcanic island arcs are forming (convergent plate boundaries) are areas where this natural heat flow is anomalously high -> ex: Western U.S.
•several types of hot geothermal systems (more than 80 degrees celsius) are said to be resource bases larger than that of fossil fuels and nuclear energy combined
•lower temperature geothermal sources that cannot be used to produce electricity can be used for space heating of buildings, heating swimming pools, or heating oil to assist crop production in greenhouses -> used in iceland
-common system for energy development is hydrothermal convection, characterized by the circulation of steam/hot water that transfers heat from depths to the surface
•ex: Geysers Geothermal Field north of San Fransisco - about 1,000 MW of electrical energy is produced. they are the largest geothermal power operation in the world. At the Geysers, the hot water is maintained in part by injecting treated wastewater from urban areas into hot rocks. The heated wastewater vaporizes and is extracted from geothermal production wells to produce electricity (helps sustain the production of electricity)
•ex: Yellowstone National Park - has many hot springs and geysers, however, federal legislation has passed to protect them.
•groundwater is a source of geothermal energy. It is geothermal because the normal internal heat flow from Earth keeps the temperature of the groundwater at about 13 degrees celsius. It can be used for heating in the winter and cooling in the summer.