Sample Research Paper on Using wind turbine and solar panels

Using wind turbines and solar panels

The demand for electricity has increased with its core supply being dependent on nuclear energy, hydropower, and fossil fuels which have thus increased the concentration of carbon dioxide emissions in the atmosphere which has significantly contributed to the rise in global warming (“Wind and Solar,” n.d.). This saw a dying need to utilize the renewable sources of energy that are most environmentally friendly (WNA, 2014). Wind turbines and solar panels are just a few among the renewable sources of energy, hover, they are the most used sources of renewable energy the world over. Such technology that makes use of the forces of nature to generate power dates back to the olden times, as early as the first sailing sheep. Today, such sources as wind and solar energy, among others have had an increase in their demand due to the consciousness of effects on the environment resulting from fossil fuels and sustainability in an ethical norm (WNA, 2014). The demand for renewable and environmentally friendly energy sources has also been pushed for by the increased focus on long-term adequacy of the supply of energy, and the environmental implications of the particular source of energy supply.

Wind energy is harnessed by using wind turbines which in most cases are set 200 feet from the grown or even more. When the wind blows, the wind turbines are turned which in turn rotates the generator resulting in the production of an alternating current(“Wind and Solar,” n.d.). The advancement in technology has seen many countries use wind turbines to generate power, with most countries having wind turbines up to 6MWe. Since the power function is a cube of the speed of the wind, it implies that the energy potential would be increased by up to eight times when the speed of wind is doubled (WNA, 2014). Such wind turbines would require wind at an approximate speed of 4-25 meters per second. There are two major designs of wind turbines which include the horizontal axis and vertical axis types. The horizontal axis is such that the electrical generator and main rotor are placed at the top of a tower, pointing into the wind. Most horizontal axis types of wind turbines have a gearbox that transforms the slow motion made by the blades into faster motion, stable enough to generate electricity.

The vertical axis wind turbines have the shaft of their main rotor placed vertically. This type of turbine has an advantage over the horizontal type as it does not necessarily have to point into the wind for effectiveness(“Wind and Solar,” n.d.). Wind turbines have several advantages as a means of power generation. For instance, taking the USA as an example, wind turbines generated an approximated 2 percent of the total power generated in 2010 which is an equivalent of the annual electricity consumed by 8.7 million homes. The benefits of using wind turbines are incredible including their environmental friendliness as they don’t emit any gasses that would pollute the atmosphere and the fact that there is no such a thing as heating which means that they would not require water for cooling like is the case with diesel generators(Suwa & Jupesta, 2012). Wind turbines have also been preferred as they have played a great part in the reduction of the electricity rates which has also helped in protecting the consumers against over-exploitation by fossil fuels(Suwa & Jupesta, 2012).

Solar panels are the most commonly used to harness energy from the sun which forms the most renewable source of energy. Solar panels have been used in the generation of electricity and heating of water by use of solar heaters. Solar energy is harnessed in two major ways, by using concentrated solar and/or photovoltaic solar. The concentrated solar power works in such a way that light from the sun is reflected by mirrors which concentrate it on receivers that in turn convert the solar into heat to heat the water. The photovoltaic solar makes use of photovoltaic cells which convert the solar energy into electricity. The cells consist of semiconductors that are capable of producing a significant amount of power to be used in the power grid.

Solar panels have proved to be an effective way of generating power for decades from large scale to domestic. Solar power holds several benefits. To begin with, solar panels produce the harness the solar power and convert it into usable electricity without generating any harmful gasses to the atmosphere(“Wind and Solar,” n.d.). Despite solar energy being renewable, a small unit area is capable of producing a large amount of power and the panels can also be placed on rooftops of structures such as buildings(Suwa & Jupesta, 2012). Solar panels have minimal interference on the geology of a place, biodiversity, and hydrology. The solar cells used in the panels have also provided solutions to places with power problems, where there is no supply of the mains electricity, at very low costs. The solar cells are also highly durable, do not produce any noise, and cases of breakdown are very rare (Suwa & Jupesta, 2012).

The major cause that has pushed the use of solar panels and wind turbines to accrue from the numerous benefits accruing from their use in terms of environmental friendliness and their cost-effectiveness. Both solar panels and wind turbines produce harness renewable sources of energy, wind, and sun, which are available in abundance in the environment. Some of the key advantages as noted above include lack of emissions of greenhouse gasses, low cost of power, durability, among others. With the advancement in technology that is taking place, the use of renewable sources of energy would increase over time, especially with the increasing rate of global warming which has raised concerns of using methods that are environmental friendly in order to reduce the rate of damage caused to the ozone layer resulting from greenhouse gasses resulting from fossil fuels.

References

“Wind and Solar,” (n.d.). Why renewable Energy? Accessed 20th April 2014 from http://www.cleanlineenergy.com/technology/wind-and-solar

World Nuclear Association (WNA), (n.d.). Renewable Energy and Electricity. Accessed 20th April 2014 from http://www.world-nuclear.org/info/Energy-and-Environment/ Renewable-Energy-and-Electricity/

Suwa, A., & Jupesta, J. (2012). Policy innovation for technology diffusion: A case-study of Japanese renewable energy public support programs. Sustainability Science, 7(2), 185-197